Climate of Sri Lanka

Being located in the tropics, Sri Lanka which consists mostly of flat to rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons of wet and dry. The rainfall pattern is influenced by monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal and there are two monsoons viz. northeast monsoon (December to March) and southwest monsoon (June to October).

 


Climate

 

Due to the location of Sri Lanka within the tropics between 50 550 and 90 510 North latitude and between 790 42' and 810 53' East longitude, the climate of the island could be defined as tropical.

 

Topography

 

The central part of the southern half of the island is mountainous with heights more than 2.5 km. The core regions of the central highlands contain many complex topographical features such as ridges, peaks, plateaux, basins, valleys and escarpments. The remainder of the island is flat except for several small hills in the lowlands. These topographical features strongly affect the spatial patterns of winds, seasonal rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and other climatic elements, particularly during the monsoon season.

 

Rainfall

 

Rainfall in Sri Lanka has multiple origins. Monsoonal, convectional and expressional rains account for a major share of the annual rainfall. The mean annual rainfall varies from under 900mm in the driest parts (southeastern and northwestern) to over 5000mm in the wettest parts (western slopes of the central highlands).

 

Temperature

 

Sri Lanka's position between 50 and 100 north latitude endows the country with a warm climate including moderate ocean winds and considerable moisture. The mean temperature ranges from as low as 15.80oC in Nuwara Eliya in the Central Highlands (where frost may occur for several days in the winter) to the hottest temperature of 290oC in Trincomalee on the northeast coast (where temperatures may reach 370oC). The average yearly temperature for the country on a whole ranges from 260oC to 280C. Day and night temperatures may vary from 4 to 7. January is the coolest month, causing people, especially those in the highlands, to wear coats and sweaters. May, the hottest period, precedes the summer monsoon rains.

 

Regional differences observed in air temperature over Sri Lanka are mainly due to altitude, rather than to latitude. The mean monthly temperatures differ slightly depending on the seasonal movement of the sun, with some modified influence caused by rainfall. The mean annual temperatures in Sri Lanka is manifested largely as standardized temperatures in the low lands and rapidly decreasing temperatures in the highlands. The mean annual temperature varies between 26.50oC to 28.50C in the lowlands up to an altitude of 100m to 150m with an annual temperature of 27.50oC. In the highlands, the temperature falls quickly as the altitude increases. The mean annual temperature of Nuwara Eliya, at 1800m above the sea level, is 15.90oC. The coldest month with respect to mean monthly temperature is generally January, and the warmest months are April and August.

 

The mean annual temperature varies from 270oC in the coastal lowlands to 160oC at Nuwara Eliya, in the central highlands (1900m above mean sea level).

 

Climate Seasons

 

of the country and the Southwest and Northeast monsoons regional scale wind regimes. The climate experienced during the 12 month period in Sri Lanka can be characterized into 4 climate seasons as follows.

 

-First Inter Monsoon Season - March - April

-Southwest Monsoon Season - May - September

-Second Inter Monsoon Season - October - November

-Northeast Monsoon Season - December - February

 

First Inter-Monsoon Season (March - April)

 

During this season the typical weather conditions are: thunderstorm-type rains, particularly during the afternoon or evening. The distribution of rainfall during this period shows that the entire South-western sector at the hill country receives 250mm of rainfall, with the localized area on the South-western slopes experiencing a rainfall in excess of 700mm (Keragala 771mm). Over most parts of the island, the amount of rainfall varies from 100 to 250mm with the notable exception being the Northern Jaffna Peninsula (Jaffna - 78mm, Elephant Pass - 83mm).

 

Southwest Monsoon Season (May - September)

 

Windy weather during this monsoon eases off the warmth that prevailed during the 1st inter monsoon season. Southwest monsoon rains are experienced at any time during the day or night; sometimes occasionally mainly in the Southwestern part of the country. Amount of rainfall during this season varies from about 100mm to over 3000mm. The highest rainfall received in the mid-elevations of the western slopes (Ginigathhena - 3267mm, Watawala- 3252mm, Norton - 3121mm). Rainfall decreases rapidly from these maximum regions towards the higher elevation, in Nuwara Eliya it drops to 853mm. The variation towards the Southwestern coastal area is less rapid, with the Southwestern coastal belt experiencing between 1000mm to 1600mm of rain during this five-month long period. The lowest figures are recorded from Northern and Southeastern regions.

 

Second Inter-Monsoon Season (October - November)

 

Thunderstorm-type of rain, particularly during the afternoon or evening, is the typical climate during this season. But unlike in the inter monsoon season, the influence of weather system on the land with effects like depression and cyclones in the Bay of Bengal is common during the second inter monsoon season. Under such conditions, the whole country experiences strong winds with wide spread rain, sometimes leading to floods and landslides. The second inter monsoon period which is from October - November is the most evenly balanced distribution of rainfall in Sri Lanka. Almost the entire island receives in excess of 400mm of rainfall during this season, with the Southwestern slopes receiving higher rainfall in the range of 750mm to 1200mm.

 

Northeast Monsoon Season (December - February)

 

The dry and cold wind blowing from the Indian land-mass will create a comparatively cool, but dry weather condition over many parts making the surrounding pleasant and comfortable weather except for coldness to a certain extent during the morning hours. Cloud-free skies provide days full of sunshine, and a pleasant and cool night. During this period, the highest rainfall figures are recorded in the North, Eastern slopes of the hill country and the Eastern slopes of the Knuckles/Rangala range. The maximum rainfall is experienced in the Kobonella estate (1281mm), and the minimum is in the Western coastal area around Puttalam (Chilaw - 177mm) during the same period.

 

 

  • Sri Lanka at a glance

    Sri Lanka is a country lying off the southern tip of India and separated from peninsular India by the Palk Strait. It is located between latitudes 5°55′ and 9°51′ N and longitudes 79°41′ and 81°53′ E and has a maximum length of 432 km and a maximum width of 224 km.

     

    Sri Lanka is known for its stunning natural beauty that attracts hundreds of thousands of travelers every year. Before touching down this paradise island in the tropics, know it at a glance.

     

     

    Official Name:

     

    SRI LANKA (The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka)

     

    The National Flag

    The National Flag symbolizes:

     

    -The lion: the Sinhala race and the strength of the nation.
    -The sword in the lion's hand: the sovereignty of the country.
    -Curly hair on the lion's head: religious observance, wisdom and meditation.
    -The beard of the lion: purity of words.
    -The handle of the sword: three elements of water, fire and earth that the country is made with.
    -The nose of the lion: intelligence.
    -The two front paws of the lion: purity in handling wealth.
    -The orange vertical stripe: the Tamil minority race.
    -The green vertical stripe: the Muslim minority race.
    - The Bo leaves at the four corners: Buddhism and its influence on the nation, and the four virtues of Buddhism: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Altruistic Joy, and Equanimity.
    -The yellow border round the flag: other minority races.
    -The maroon coloured portion of the flag: the minor religions

     

    The National Emblem

     

    The emblem features a gold lion passant holding a sword in its right fore paw indicating the Sinhala Race. The centre on a maroon background surrounded by golden petals of a lotus indicates the sanctity of Sri Lanka. This is placed on the top of a vase which indicates the prosperity of the country, sheaves of rice grains that circle the border also reflecting the prosperity. The crest is the Dharmachakra that symbolizes the country's foremost place for Buddhism and the righteousness of the country and its people. The sun and moon at the bottom depict the eternity.

     

    The National Bird

     

    Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii)

     

     

    A very colourful ground bird endemic to Sri Lanka occurring in most large patches of forest in all zones, but is more often heard than seen, Sri Lanka Junglefowl roosts high in trees at night and flies up to tree branches when threatened. It nests in hidden, scraped places on the ground or on pile of vegetation just off the ground.

     

    The National Flower

     

    Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea nouchali)

     

     

    Blue Water Lily or "Nil Manel" which is found all over the island growing in the shallow water, was declared the National Flower of Sri Lanka on 26th February 1986. Blue water lily that occupies a pre-eminent position in the Buddhist literature, symbolizes virtue, discipline and purity.

     

    The National Tree

     

    "Na" (Mesua nagassarium)

     

     

    The Ironwood or "Na" Tree was declared the National Tree of Sri Lanka on 26th February 1986.

     

    Originating in Sri Lanka, its utility, historic and cultural importance, exterior posture, wide distribution, colour and nature, ability to draw and sketch it easily have led to select "Na" as the National Tree.

     

    This rainforest tree grows up to about 30m high and is indigenous to the lower wet zone of the island. It has beautiful bright red leaves that finally mature into deep green. Na wood that was used to make bridges in the early times is very hard and durable. Na flower is also used in herbal medicine and preparation of perfumes, cosmetics and soaps. It is believed that Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka was to grove of Na trees at Mahiyangana and also the next Buddha (Maithriya) will attain enlightenment under a "Na" tree.

     

    Location

     

    -Between latitudes 5o 55' & 9o 55' and longitudes 79o 42' & 81o 52' (880 km north of the equator in the Indian Ocean)

    -Maximum Length: 435 km (from Point Pedro to Dondra Head)

    -Maximum Width: 225 km (from Colombo to Sangaman Mountain)

    -Extent of Land in General: 62,705 km2

    -Extent of Inland Waters: 2,905 km2

    -Total Extent of Land: 65,610 km2

     

    Legislative Capital:

     

    Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte

     

    Commerical Capital:

     

    Colombo

     

    Currency (Code):

     

    Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

     

    Administrative Units

     

    9 Provinces | 25 Districts | 160 Electorates | 256 AGA Divisions

     

    Land & Sea Area (km2)

     

    Land Area: 65,525 | Internal Waters: 1,570 | Historic Waters: 12,000 | Territorial Sea: 18,060 | Contiguous Zone: 19,620

     

    Independence:

     

    04th February 1948

     

    Climate

     

    Typically tropical with northeast monsoon (December to March) adn southwest monsoon (June to October).

     

    Rainfall

     

    Annual Average Rainfall: 1675mm | Annual Average Rainy Days: 137 days

     

    Temperature

     

      oC (oF) Minimum) Mean oC (oF) Maximum oC (oF)
    Low Country 24.40 (75.92) 28.05 (82.49) 31.70 (89.06)
    Hill Country 17.10 (62.78) 21.47 (70.64) 26.30 (79.34)

     

    Population:                      Population Density:

    20,271,464 (2012)                    323 km2

     

    Ethnic Groups

     

    Sinhala (74.9%) | Sri Lankan Tamil (11.2%) | Indian Tamil (4.2%) | Sri Lankan Moor (9.2%) | Other (0.5%)

     

    Religious Groups

     

    Buddhist (70.2%) | Hindu (12.6%) | Islam (9.7%) | Roman Catholic (6.1%) | Other (1.4%)

     

    Terrain

     

    Mostly low, flat to rolling plane with mountains in the south-central interior.

     

    Time Zone:

     

    Sri Lanka Standard Time (UTC/GMT + 5:30 Hours)

     

    Mains Electricity:

     

    230 Volts 50 Hertz | Plug/Socket Type: D

     

    Driving

     

    On The Left

     

    International Dialling Code:

     

    +94

     

    Internet TLD:

     

    .lk

     


  • Pre-History of Sri Lanka

    The primitive history of Sri Lanka is in a shroud of mystery, yet there is perhaps no country in the world that has such a long continuous history and civilization. At a time when the now great nations of the west were sunk in barbarism, or had not come into existence, Sri Lanka was the seat of an ancient kingdom and religion, the nursery of art and the centre of eastern commerce. The incredible religious enlightenment of the island is more than 2550 years old. Our architectural structures are not challengeable. The vast irrigation works attest the greatness and antiquity of the civilization. Nature and art, the beauty of the sceneries, celebrated as the home of pure Buddhism, have made Sri Lanka from remote times the object of interest and admiration to modern nations. Merchants, sailors, and pilgrims have in diverse dialects left records of their visits, which confirm in a striking manner the ancient native chronicles which Sri Lanka is almost singular among Asiatic lands in possessions.

     

     

    The pre-history of Sri Lanka dates back to about 125,000 BP and possibly even as early as 500,000 BP and covers the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Iron ages until the ancient history of Sri Lanka and evidence of transition between the Mesolithic and the Iron Age is scarce. Fluctuations in sea level led Sri Lanka linked to the Indian subcontinent from time to time over the past million years. The last such link occurred on around 5000 BCE. Findings at Iranamaduwa indicate that there were Paeolithic people in Sri Lanka as early as 300,000 BP. There is definite evidence of settlements by prehistoric peoples in Sri Lanka by about 125,000 BP. These people made tools of quartz and chert which are assignable to the Middle Palaeolithic period. This island has been colonized by the Balangoda Man (named after the area where his remains were discovered) prior to 34,000 BP. They have been identified as a group of Mesolithic hunter gatherers who lived in caves. Fa Hsien Cave has yielded the earliest evidence (34,000 BP) of anatomically modern humans in South Asia. Several of these caves including the well known Batadomba Lena and Fa Hsien Cave yielded many artefacts that point to them being the first inhabitants of the island. There is evidence from Beli Lena that salt had been brought from the coast earlier than 27,000 BP.


     

    Several minute granite tools of about 4 centimetres in length, earthenware and remains of charred timber, and clay burial pots that date back to the Stone Age Mesolithic people who lived 8000 years ago have been discovered during recent excavations around a cave at Varana Raja Maha Vihara and in Kalatuwawa area. It is suspected that the hunter gatherer people known as the Veddas, who still live in the Central, Uva and North-Eastern parts of the island may be descendants of the Balangoda people. The skeletal remains of dogs from Nilgala cave and from Bellanbandi Pelassa, dating from the Mesolithic era, about 4500 BCE, suggest that Balangoda People may have kept domestic dogs for game. The Sinhala Hound is similar in appearance to the Kadar Dog, the New Guinea Dog and the Dingo. It has been suggested that these could all derive from a common domestic stock. It is also possible that they may have domesticated jungle fowl, pig, water buffalo and some form of Bos (possibly the ancestor of the Lankan neat cattle).

     

     

    The Balangoda Man appears to have been responsible for creating Horton Plains, in the central hills, by burning the trees in order to catch game. However, evidence from the plains suggests the initial management of Oats and Barley by about 15,000 BCE. The transition in Sri Lanka from the Mesolithic to the Iron Age has not been sufficiently documented. A human skeleton found at Godavaya in the Hambantota District, conditionally dated back to 3000 -5000 BCE was accompanied by tools of animal-bone and stone.



     

    However, evidence from Horton Plains indicates the existence of agriculture by about 8000 BCE, including herding of Bos and cultivation of Oats and Barley. Excavations in the cave of Dorawakakanda near Kegalle indicate the use of pottery about 4300 BCE, together with stone stools, and possibly cereal cultivation. Slag found at Mantai dated to about 1800 BCE could indicate the data of copper-working.

     

    Cinnamon, native to Lanka, was in use in Egypt in about 1500 BCE, suggests that there were trading links with the island. It is possible that Sri Lanka was the Biblical Tarshish (James Emerson Tennent identified it with Galle). A large settlement appears to have been founded before 900 BCE at Anuradhapura where signs of an Iron Age culture have been found. The size of the settlement was about 15 hectares at that date, but expanded to 50 hectares, to ‘town’ size within a couple of centuries. A similar site has been discovered at Aligala in Sigiriya. The earliest chronicles the Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa say that the island was inhabited by tribes of Yakkhas (demons), Nagas (cobras) and Devas (gods) which are totemic references.

     

    Pottery dating to 600 BCE has been found at Anuradhapura, bearing Brahmi script (among the earliest extant examples of the script) and non-Brahmi writing, which may have arisen through contact with Semitic trading scripts from West Asia. The emergence of new forms of pottery at the same time as the writing, together with other artefacts such as red glass beads, indicates a new cultural impulse. The Brahmi writing appears to be in Indo-Aryan Prakrit and is almost identical to the Ashokan script some 200 years later; none appears to be in Dravidian - corroborating the view that Indo-Aryan was pre-dominant from at least as early as 500 BCE in Sri Lanka. Following ancient ethnic groups are attested from the ancient cave inscriptions found from different regions of Sri Lanka.

     

    Millenniums before Vijaya, foreigners authored Vishnu Purana, Skanda Purana, and Ramayana. Vishnu Purana states that Vishnu waged war with the Sri Lankan Kings Iran and Makuta, and describes its populace as highly developed and civilized. It is established in Skanda Purana and Ramayana. Rama invaded Sri Lanka millenniums after Vishnu and Skanda. Matsaya Purana states that Rawana’s son Indrajith bombed the invaders hiding in the clouds and it also states that he used a bow that could send out 12000 arrows per minute. All descriptions confirm that the indigenous populace of Sri Lanka was highly developed. The British history begins in 1066 AD with the Nomads war. When Christ was born in Nazareth, King Bhathikabaya covered the Maha Thupa with Jasmine flowers and sprinkled water pumped from Abaya Wewa. When St Paul was brought before Caesar as a prisoner, our ambassadors were enjoying royal patronage in Caesar’s palace.

    There lies a wealth of traditions in our folk songs, and one can hear similes in our legends, demonology, and devil dancing. ‘Kohombakankariya’ offers a great deal of information of its people and features relating to ethnology, sociology, religious beliefs, and magical practices. However, the researcher is not able to assess, as the archaeological materials and evidence belonging to the pre-historic era remains concealed. Archaeologists who perform scientific excavations into likely areas of occupation have to establish it.

     

    The Lankans taught the South Indians in the Cauvery basin to grow irrigated rice. It was done to have buffer stocks; sometimes our exports were taken by force, as indicated in the Mahavamsa. They built Poduke, the new city in Cauvery in South India indicated by Ptolemy in his map of the second century AD and it clearly indicates our contacts with the rest of the Asian world. It resulted in the development of an exclusive hydraulic civilization that our ancient inhabitants exercised from the Stone Age to the Iron Age bypassing the Bronze Age. In reference to the Ptolemy’s map various tribes and nations had their harbours and settlements for trade, the capital metropolises of the Kings, international emporia rivers and mountains, the source of rivers also the Sacred Adams Peak foot print is clearly indicated.

     

    The finest example of the ingenuity of the Sinhalese irrigation engineering is the invention of the “Biso-kotuwa” (meaning queen’s enclosure in Sinhalese) in 3rd century BCE. Biso-kotuwa is the equivalent of the modern valve-pit, which operates in the regulation of the outward flow of water. It was the invention of “Biso-kotuwa” which permitted the Sinhalese to proceed boldly with the construction of vast reservoirs that still rank among the finest and greatest work of its kind in the world. The ancient Maduru Oya sluice discovered in 1981 had two sluices and was built in three stages, starting from the BCE period. According to the Mahavamsa the Yakkha clan held their annual New Year ‘Sun Festival’ at Dolapabbatha, which lies between Mahaweli River and Maduru Oya even during the time of King Pandukabhaya.

     

    This indicate the antiquity of the region in the BCE period, which was occupied by the pioneers of irrigation technology, the Lankans who in their wisdom used cultivable land in cyclic rotation to recuperate their fertility by allowing the paddy fields to fallow alternatively.

     

    The fall of the ancient hydraulic civilization of Lanka in the 13th century was due to the sudden change of the Mahaweli river course due to natural causes and not due to foreign invasions, as the historians say publicly. Scientific evidence is clearly seen in the aerial photographs of the old and the new Mahaweli River course. The ancient Mahaweli with its ancient Dagobas that were beside it like a string of pearls but today the Dagobas lies stranded, while the present river flows elsewhere with no Dagobas by it, which event took place 1220 AD? This sudden geological calamity changed the river course that sustained our ancient hydraulic civilisation. It led to disease and famine and resulted in the major part of the populace abandoning and moving to other areas. The change of the river course affected the great tanks to dry. The populace selected central wet zones and the wet zones to settle themselves along with their monarchy.

     

    The findings and observations by Professor Joseph Needham confirm that the indigenous inhabitants were greatly developed and civilized and states thus, “Although an advanced system of ancient irrigation cannot be found in ancient Mesopotamia, Euphrates, Tigris or Indian River valleys, such system can be seen in Lanka. What is clearly visible is the fact that this knowledge did not belong to one generation only. That this advanced system has been systematically developed through generations on a basis of scientific principles”.

     

    The most outstanding event that changed the entire island was the arrival of the Buddhist Mission to Lanka. Lord Buddha introduced Dhamma to Lanka in the pre-Vijaya era. However, it was declared the state religion in 307 BCE, which transformed of Lanka to a Buddhist State, socially, morally, spiritually, and materially. Thus the native populace; the four clans, the Yakkhas, Nagas, Rakshas the Devas and Indo Aryans shredded their differences and developed a civilisation Buddhism in spirit and Sinhala in form. The bond between Buddha Dhamma and Sinhalese are undividable. Today their culture is called Buddhist culture.

     

    The Teachings of the Buddha is denoted in our national flag. The lion denotes the Sinhala race. The sword denotes sovereignty. The four 9Bo) leaves at the corners denote the four clans that shredded their differences to make this country a Buddhist country. It has been stated that Lanka had been invaded by foreign powers on many occasions. They ruled Pihitirata for nearly 272 years but none were able to conquer the whole island, except that she was handed over to the British by a Convention on March 2nd 1815 AD and gazetted on March 10th 1815 AD.

     

  • Sri Lanka Known For...

    Since ancient times Sri Lanka has been known for its stunning natural beauty and a plenty of things such as tea, gems, spices, beaches, heritage, blue whales and dolphins. Catch a glimpse of what Sri Lanka is known for and know about the amazing paradise in the tropics - SRI LANKA.

     

     

    Friendlier People

     

     

    With a genuine smile on the face Sri Lanken People are known to be friendlier and the most hospitable in the world.

     

    Tea

     

     

    the world's purest and finest tea is produced by Sri Lanka which is the world's 4th largest producer and the 2nd largest exporter of tea. World-renowned as "Ceylon Tea", the Sri Lanken tea is of distinctive taste, attractive aroma and untouchable quality. this because the country's tropical climate and fertile soil are healthier for quality tea production.

     

    Gems

     

     

    Known as the "Island of Gems" since ancient times, Sri Lanka's gem industry has a history over 2000 years. The world's rarest gemstones are found in this wonderfull island which is most famous for its blue sapphires. Sri Lanken blue sapphires are world-renowned and are highly priced because of its pleasing tone of colour, flawlessnes, very high transparency, clarity etc.

     

    Cricket

     

     

    a big cricket playing nation in the world, was the World Cup Champions in 1996 and has been cup runners-up for several times. Sri Lanka has produced cricket giants in the world such as batsmen Sanath Jayasoriya,spinner Muttaiah Muralitharan.

     

    Garments

     

     

    Sri Lanakn garments are world-renowned because of its quality. Sri Lanka's garments industry now turned to be a fashion industry is a more reliable supplier of quality garments to the world's top brands and now Sri Lankais regarded as a producer of "garments with no guilt."

     

    Food & beverages

     

     

    Sri Lanka is famous for her finest spicy and tasty foods and delicious beverages. Sri Lanka's savoury dishes, prepared with its world-renowned home-grown spices such as cinnamon, cloves cardmom,nutmag,black pepper etc.,have a high value health value.

     

    golden Beaches

     

     

    Sri Lanka is a resplendent island bless with more then thousand kilometres of stunning golden beaches the attract tens of thousand of tourist around the world annually. the tropical palm-fringed beaches make Sri Lanka a heavenly for holiday-makers.

     

    Heritage

     

     

    A country with a great history, Sri Lanka has a splendid heritage which has mostly been influenced by Buddhism. Inscribed by the UNESCO, Sri Lanka has eight world heritage sites such as Sri Dalada Maligawa, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura.

     

    Peace

     

     

    Nearly three decades long bloody war between the terrorist and the Sri Lanken government cane to end in 2009 dawning long-awaiting peace to the war-torn island which is now regarded as one of the most peaceful countries as well as one of the safest tourist destinations in the world.

     

    Ayurvedic treatments

     

     

    Develpoed voer 300 years Sri Lanka's system of Ayurveda is an indigenous form of tradition medicine influenced by Hindu Ayurveda. the world famous Sri Lanka's Ayurvedic treatments heal and rejuvenate body and mind leading to a healthier and longer life. Ayurveda with meditation and yoga leads not only to bodily and mental wellness but spiritual wellness as well.

     

    World's biggest mammals

     

    Both world's largest marine and land mammals can be sighted in a few hours in Sri Lanka . Blue Whales are mostly seen in the country's eastern and southern seas and elephants can also be seen in the eastern and southern low lands in addition to other areas of the country.

     

    Spices

     

     

    Indigenous tor Sri Lanka,Ceylon cinnamon or true cinnamon is the most famous in the world because of its distinctive quality and aroma. Sri Lanka accounts for over 90%of the world market of true cinnamon.Sri Lanka's other spices such as cloves,cardamom, black pepper,nutmeg etc also have a big demand in the international markets. this owing to no other reason but its quality.Sri Lanka is a tropical country close to the equator with fertile and diverse soil type, varying micro climates and the favourable temperature most crops grown in this island

     

     

  • Food and Drinks

    Food is one of the most exciting aspects of Sri Lanka. While most dishes in Sri Lankan cuisine can trace their origins to India, Malaysia, the Arab world and the colonizers from Portugal, the Netherlands, Britain, a unique local twist can be experienced, which sets them apart.The local palate and the various fragrant spices growing in Sri Lanka contribute much towards this. Many Sri Lankans consume rice with a collection of curries, the main being a lentil curry. Other main dietary selections include string hoppers, hoppers, milk rice, roti or thosai, all accompanied by curries or chutneys. However, the ultimate street food found in every nook and corner of Sri Lanka is kottu, which is shredded roti, mixed with vegetables and a preference of meats, served with gravy. As an island, sea food too is a main staple in the country.

     

     

    Milk Rice

     

     

    Milk rice or Kiribath is a customary Sri Lankan dish made of rice and coconut milk. It is a popular festive dish for any auspicious moment. The dish is prepared by cooking rice with coconut milk and served with Lunu Miris (a paste of chilli, salt, Maldive fish and onions).

     

    Rice & Curry

     

     

    Rice is the staple food of Sri Lankans. Almost every household in Sri Lanka takes rice and curry as their main meal. Meat, fish and vegetables are prepared as curries. Sliced onions, green chillies, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and saffron are used to add flavours. A basic rice and curry requires one fish curry, two different vegetables, one portion of fried crispy stuff like ‘papadam’, a ‘Mallum’ (chopped leaves and coconut), and a gravy of spiced and cooked with coconut milk.

     

    Sour Fish Curry

     

    Sour fish curry or Malu Ambulthiyal is a unique spicy fish preparation with thick gamboges ‘Goraka’ paste. This is a very popular dish of a fish steak in a sour curry sauce. Sri Lanka has a great selection of delicious fish. Best accompaniment if you want to bring down a few blocks of milk rice or a few hoppers and Pittu as well.

     

    Potato Curry

     

    This is one of the most popular curries in Sri Lanka, prepared by boiling potatoes well and cooking them with coconut milk and spices etc. Selected as one of the favourite curries among the local citizens, potato curry can be accompanied with almost any main course and nutritious-wise the curry itself stands on a stable stage

     

    Hoppers

     

     

    Hoppers are a traditional Sri Lankan food eaten for breakfast or dinner. It is made of red or white flour and is thin, flaky and crusty. Red flour string hoppers are of more nutritive value as they contain dietary fibre. It is best enjoyed hot and there are many variations of hoppers. Hoppers can be made with an egg in the middle, honey or even plain. A hopper needs very few accompaniments and is usually eaten with Lunu Miris which is made of onions, Maldive fish, and chilies chopped up and mixed together with salt.

     

    In hotels hoppers are normally made to order as it is served hot and in eating places one has to give the order and then wait until the hoppers arrive. Friends gather around a table, order tea and indulge in a friendly chat until the hoppers are brought by the waiter. Special instructions can be given to the chef for the crust to be made browner if necessary.

     

    String Hoppers

     

     

    String hoppers are made out of white or red flour. Red flour string hoppers are higher in nutritional value as they contain dietary fibre. They appear as thin strands of flour that is circular in shape and can be eaten as the main meal for breakfast or dinner. Almost all the hotels in the island provide string hoppers for breakfast or dinner. A variety of dishes can be had with string hoppers. Two special side dishes that go with string hoppers is coconut sambol and potato or plain white curry that helps to soften the string hoppers so that they are easy to swallow. Fish, chicken or beef curry could be ordered with this.

     

    Pittu

     

     

    Pittu constitutes another staple food that is made of red or white rice flour and coconut. It is considered a substantial, heavy meal as it contains a large amount of coconut. Pittu is steamed in the traditional bamboo or in an aluminum cylinder. Next this long roll is cut into pieces. Prior to indulging in a piece of Pittu, one must break it into pieces and add a substantial amount of curry to make it juicy enough for swallowing. Pittu can be had with potato curry, lunumiris and a meat or fish dish. Pittu is essentially a breakfast or night time meal and hotels make Pittu to suit these two particular times.

     

    Coconut Roti

     

     

    Roti is a quick meal and easy to prepare. Wheat, rice or Kurakkan (type of brown millet) flour is mixed with fresh grated coconut and a touch of oil and baked on a hot griddle in thin flat cakes. Roti is equally good with chillie relish or with syrup. Shallots, green chillies, curry leaves and Maldive (cured) fish flakes are added to ring in the changes.

     

    Kottu

     

    Kottu is one of the most popular foods in Sri Lanka. It is taken during night time and is a complete meal. Kottu is served in almost all the hotels in the island. A hard metal surface is heated and the dough is laid upon it and two metal pieces are used to break it up into shreds. Next eggs, vegetables and the preferred kind of meat that includes Chicken, Beef or Fish are added with spices and salt. At this stage the aroma is irresistible. The unique clattering sound of the two metal plates banging on the metal surface lures one towards the spot where Kottu is being made. It is served hot and comes with chili paste and chicken or fish curry. It is a popular way side boutique delicacy and is essentially Sri Lankan in origin. Kottu can be individually tailored by requesting the chef to use the desired amount of ingredients one would want.

     

    Seafood in Sri Lanka

     

    Sri Lanka, the resplendent isle surrounded by the Indian Ocean has a variety of seafood to offer. Many of the hotels spread across the island provide a fresh catch which is a celebration of the country’s heritage and is a culinary experience that will enthral taste buds and leave one happy and wanting more. Sea food contains important micro nutrients that are beneficial to health but cautioned should be exercised if one is taking it for the first time as certain individuals develop allergies

     

    Crabs

     

    Crab is a very popular food. It can be prepared in a various ways. The two main ways of preparing crab is dry or curry. Many traditional Sri Lankan herbs and spices are added to make the crab dish rich and delicious. To relish crab meat, the crab has to be opened and on request a crab opener is provided. On special order, crab meat could be obtained without the shell and comes as a shredded substance to which spices and condiments are added.

     

    Lobsters

     

    Lobsters are found in many fancy dishes of Sri Lankan hotels. Regarded as a delicacy today, lobsters are highly-priced and have a higher nutritional value too. Lobsters are cooked either by boiling or steaming or grilling, and served with hot, melted butter garnished with vegetable leaves like broccoli salad. One of the tastiest seafoods, fresh cooked lobsters are also served chilled with a mayonnaise, cocktail or other cold seafood sauce for dipping. There are a number of local and international lobster recipes that tourists can experience here in Sri Lanka

     

    Shrimps

     

    Shrimps come in various sizes. The favorite way to eat shrimp is devilled. This is a bit hot and spicy and overseas visitors may find that it doesn’t suit their usual cuisine but is nevertheless delicious. Shrimps can be made into a salad or roasted and had with barbecue sauce as well. This can be garnished with salad leaves, herbs, condiment powder and local ingredients. Shrimps can also be made into a juicy curry. The chef can be given instructions on the particular way one likes it prepared. Before eating shrimps, one should inspect whether they are cleaned or not as shrimps have a hard external covering that is not palatable to some.

     

    Cuttlefish

     

    Cuttlefish is called Dello in Sinhala and comes in a ring-like appearance and can be made into a delectable array of dishes. The favorite way of having it is fried. This delicacy adds spice to any meal. It is normally prepared by a professional chef as it has to be properly cleaned and cut into small rings. Cuttlefish contains a bitter part and this has to be removed and the cuttlefish carefully be washed prior to cooking.

     

    Sri Lankan Sweetmeats

     

    Kevum

     

     

    Kevum is Sri Lanka’s most popular sweetmeat served at most of ceremonial occasions such as Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebration, parties, weddings, etc. Kevum is made of rice flour, treacle or sugar by deep-frying in coconut oil. There are several variants of Kevum like Athiraha, Mung Kevum, Konda Kevum etc.

     

    Kokis

     

     

    Kokis is yet another popular sweetmeat in Sri Lanka. Kokis is made from rice flour, coconut milk and sugar by deep-frying in coconut oil. This crispy sweetmeat is usually served with Kiribat and Kevum at celebrations like Sinhala & Tamil New Year.

     

    Mung Kevum

     

     

    Mung Kevum is a variant of Kevum. This sweetmeat is made with roasted flour of Mung beans alias green gram and rice mixed with boiled treacle or sugar syrup to make a paste which is then deep fried in coconut oil. Mung Kevum is served at special celebrations, parties, weddings, etc.

     

    Aasmi

     

     

    Aasmi is also a fine crispy sweetmeat popular among Sri Lankan communities. To make Aasmi, large string hoppers are folded and dried in sunlight. Then they are deep fried in coconut oil and boiled treacle or sugar syrup is sprinkled over the fried Aasmi. Then it is served at special celebrations, parties, weddings, etc.

     

    Welitalapa

     

     

    Yet another popular sweetmeat in Sri Lanka, Welitalapa is served at special celebrations such as Sinhala & Hindu New Year and birthday parties. To make Welitalapa, rice flour is steamed well and then the steamed rice flour is crushed into small pieces and mixed with boiled treacle or sugar syrup. Then the paste is made into diamond or square shapes with a wooden mould.

     

    Unduwel

     

     

    Unduwel alias Pani Walalu is one of Sri Lanka’s popular sweetmeats served at celebrations like Sinhala & Tamil New Year. Pani Walalu is deep fried coils made of Urad dhal & rice flour mixture soaked in sugar syrup.

     

    Aluwa

     

     

    Aluwa is also a popular sweetmeat in Sri Lanka prepared from roasted rice flour and boiled treacle with a roasted rice flour covering. Aluwa is made into diamond or square shapes by a wooden mould


  • Fruits

    Being a tropical country, Sri Lanka is home to a variety delicious tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, jackfruit and banana. One of the earliest mentioned fruits in this country is mango. The well-known questions Arhat Mahinda asked King Devanapiyatissa to test the king's intelligence was about a mango tree. Most of the fruits in Sri Lanka are commercially grown though earlier they grew wild.

     

     

    Pineapple

     

    Pineapple is a perennial fruit available in Sri Lanka. The rough outside exterior is cut to reveal the fresh, luscious fruit that lies inside. The flesh and juice of pineapples are used to make fresh fruit juices. Pineapple forms part of the fruit salad that is tasty and contains many digestive enzymes like bromelin and fibres that are very important for a healthy digestive system. In our country pineapple is prepared and sold on roadsides as a snack. They are sold whole, or in halves with a stick inserted. Chunks of pineapple are not only used in desserts such as fruit salad, but also as a main ingredient in savory dishes. Although the pineapple season is from March to June, the fruit is available throughout the year.

     

    Mango

     

     

    Mango is generally sweet, although the taste and texture of the flesh varies according to the variety of mango. Mangoes are widely used in cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, pickles, or side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt, chili, or soy sauce. Mango can be tasted in various forms and includes fresh mango, juices and smoothies. Raw green mango is with salt, vinegar, black pepper and hot sauce.

     

    Plantains/Banana

     

     

    Banana is a favorite food in Sri Lanka and consists of many types. Ambul (sour), seeni, anamalu, ambung and ambung (red in colour) are some popular varieties. Bananas can be had anytime of the day and is a very popular dessert. It is essentially cheap except for Kolikottu which is considered an expensive variety. Bananas provide potassium and carbohydrates and are available throughout the country.

     

    Mangosteen

     

     

    Mangosteen is an amazing tropical fruit grown in Sri Lanka. It’s roughly the size of a tennis ball, the skin deep purple and very firm - more like a shell than skin. It has a stem with firm leaves that looks like a little cap. Mangosteens are eaten fresh. After removing the skin, the bright white flesh can be eaten. Mangosteen is becoming known for its antioxidants and micronutrients.

     

    Papaw or Papaya

     

     

    This fruit is perennial in nature and is found all year round in the country. It is eaten when the fruit is ripen being yellow in color and is an excellent after meals dessert. It has digestive enzyme named papine and large amounts of digestible fibre. Papaya is primarily cultivated as a home garden crop and yields fruit throughout the year.

     

    Pomegranate

     

     

    Pomegranate is cultivated in home gardens in Sri Lanka and is a medicinal plant and as well as a fruit tree. There is no other fruit crop that has high medicinal value compared to that in pomegranate. The pomegranate fruit is rich in beneficial antioxidants and medicinal properties and is had as a refreshing herbal drink that rejuvenates the body

     

    Carambola (Star-fruit)

     

     

    The fruit has distinctive ridges running down its sides (usually five, but can sometimes vary); in cross-section, it resembles a star, hence its name. The entire fruit is edible and is usually eaten out of hand, nothing to peel or seed. They may also be used in cooking, and can be made into relishes, preserves, and juice drinks.

     

    Guava

     

     

    Usually 3-4 inches in diameter, round or oval in shape depending on the species, guava has a pronounced and typical fragrance, similar to lemon rind but less sharp. The outer skin may be rough, often with a bitter taste, or soft and sweet. Varying between species, the skin can be any thickness, is usually green before maturity, but becomes yellow, maroon, or green when ripe. The pulp inside may be sweet or sour, and off-white to deep pink. The seeds in the central pulp vary in number and hardness, depending on species. Guava contains good amounts of vitamins C and A, as well as fibre, potassium and phosphorus.

  • Ceylon Tea

    "Ceylon Tea" has been prized for its unique flavour, colour & character, which cannot be readily found elsewhere. The humidity, cool temperatures, sunshine and rainfall (two monsoons) in the country's central and southern highlands are conducive to the manufacture of unique quality teas. Tea plantations are scenic and pristine. Tea is grown, handpicked and processed in an artisanal process, unchanged for over a century.

     

     

     

     

    The renowned Tea Research Institute strictly monitors use of pesticides [which are needed in minimal quantities due to the humid climate]. Ceylon Tea is reputed as the "cleanest tea in the world" in respect of pesticide residues due to these stringent controls. Ceylon tea is divided into three groups: High Grown, Mid Grown, and Low Grown tea based on the elevation and geography of the land on which it is grown. This is similar to the concept of terroir in winemaking. Ceylon Tea has unique characteristics and is known for superior flavor for its high grown teas and exquisite leaf appearance for low grown teas, much favoured in the Middle East.

     

     

    Global positioning

     

    With 8% of the global production Sri Lanka is the 4th largest manufacturer of tea in the world after China, India & Kenya. Since China is predominantly a green tea producer while India & Kenya mainly produce CTC teas, Sri Lanka is the leading manufacturer of orthodox black tea to the world. Sri Lanka is also the second largest tea exporter to the world after Kenya since China & India constitute of a huge domestic consumption. The export share of Sri Lanka in the global tea market is registered at around 18% as against that of Kenya which is about 22%. Since Kenya exports CTC teas in entirety, Sri Lanka is acclaimed as the world's largest exporter of orthodox black tea. Tradition is probably the most suitable word that can explain tea in the Sri Lankan context. With almost 45% of all exports in value added form, tea trade in Sri Lanka is way ahead of its competitors such as India which exports around 10% of its off-takes in packaged form and Kenya only 7%. Sri Lanka is also the first tea producing country in the world which introduced nation branding with "Ceylon Tea" linked to the Lion logo symbol. The industry proudly acknowledges attempts of few dynamic entrepreneurs and visionaries for building globally renowned tea brands which no other tea producing country has achieved so far.

     

    The tea industry in Sri Lanka has created many global records in various fields and avenues. The country could boast of a highly transparent Tea Auction system in Colombo rated as the largest in the world for a single origin and always yields the fastest turnaround of tea to cash for the farmers. In respect of agro-chemical pesticide residues, Ceylon Tea has been regularly acclaimed as the cleanest by independent analysts/research labs around the world. Sri Lanka also received the accolade from Montreal Protocol in Canada as the only "Ozone Friendly Tea" in the world. Several industry players in Sri Lanka have received United Nations Global Compact Awards which other countries are yet to achieve. The contribution for Carbon Credit programs and the commitments for Corporate Social Responsibility are high. While the industry is ILO compatible it is a role model for the United Nations Environmental Program and fulfils most of the millennium goals.

     

    Diversity in speciality

     

    The diversity in speciality of its orthodox tea process has been the power and strength of the tea industry in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya, Uva, Dimbula, Uda Pussellawa, Kandy, Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa are the prime tea-growing regions of Sri Lanka. Over the years, Sri Lanka has earned a reputation as a producer of high quality tea and "Ceylon Tea" is synonymous with quality and taste. Ceylon Tea and 07 agro climate regional teas have been registered as geographical indications to prevent misuse of Sri Lankan Teas by overseas packers. Sri Lanka exports a large quantity of tea packets and tea bags to add value to its tea than any other tea producing country in the World. The value added tea exports account for nearly 45% of the total export volume. "Ceylon Tea" is exported in a wide range of packets i.e. box board cartons, foil packs, soft wooden boxes, metal cans, ceramic jars, wooden boxes etc. The tea bags component has now reached 22 million kgs per year.

     

    Sri Lanka Tea Board, the apex government body responsible for development and promotion of Ceylon Tea, has taken many steps to ensure that all teas produced and exported from Sri Lanka adhere to the minimum quality standards of ISO 3720. The promotion of Ceylon Tea linked to the lion logo the symbol of quality, which is the trademark of the Sri Lanka Tea Board. Ceylon Tea Lion Logo that appears on Ceylon tea packs denotes not only the country of origin but also the quality of Ceylon Tea.

     

     

  • Arts and Crafts

    Arts of Sri Lanka have achieved great heights during the path of history. All Sri Lankan art forms like dance, music, sculpture, paintings and architecture have grown over the time. with the influence of Buddhism, and other religious beliefs of the people. This laid a firm foundation to the base of Sri Lankan arts.

     

     

    Dances of Sri Lanka

     

    People of ancient Sri Lanka regarded dance as the best way to please the nature gods and danced to save themselves from natural disasters. Dancing started in Sri Lanka long before the 4th century BCE. However South Indian influence became obvious in Sri Lanka in the 15th century and it is particularly evident in the folk dances and local traditions. These influences made dances of an area different from the other.

     

    Kandyan Dance

     

    Kandyan Dance is regarded as the national dance form of Sri Lanka. The dance evolved primarily during the period of Kandyan kings; hence it was named Kandyan dancing. These dance form depicts scenes of Ramayana, tales of kings, queens, princes and heroes as well as dancing of kings and heroes. Costumes of the Kandyan dancers are quite elegant. Male dancers wear spectacular headgear and their bare chests are adorned with elegant silver regalia and also wear silver bangles on arms and anklets. They dance to the rhythms of drums which are called 'Bera'.

     

     

    Sabragamuwa Dance

     

    Sabaragamuwa Dance is performed in Ratnapura area to worship the God Saman. The Sabaragamuwa dance by its geographical location has taken from both the Low- Country and Kandyan. The Pang Madu (ritual of light) had at the beginning more of the Yak in it than the Kandyan. The more popular drum was the Yak Bera. Today the use of Daula drum gives the Sabaragamuwa a quaint peculiarity of its own and even the dresses of the dancers and drummers are austerely unique, though you see the elaborate Kandyan and Low-Country influence in them. In Sabaragamuwa dance the men take part in and allow their beloveds "Sindu Mathraya, Gaman Mathraya, Yakpada Mathraya, Patu Thala Mathraya etc. The drum is called "Daula" or "Tammettama" accompanied by the dance.

     

    Low Country Dance

     

    Low country dance is performed to please the sickness caused by evil spirits. The dancers wear masks. These masks resemble birds, demons, reptiles etc. This type of dance is highly ritualistic.

     

    Handicrafts of Sri Lanka

     

    Sri Lanka takes pride in its extensive variety of handicrafts. Tradition of making handicrafts is primeval. Requirements of the society and their creativeness combined to make these articles and serve as wonderful souvenirs. It can be found in shops and stores in all parts of the country.

     

    Masks

     

    Sri Lankans exclusively use masks and facial decorative wear. Since ancient times, masks have been used in rituals, dramas, and to cure sickness. Traditional Lankans think that masks have curative power for various physical and physiological illnesses. Most masks are made of light wood called Kaduru.

     

     

    Pottery

     

    Pottery is one of the oldest crafts in Sri Lanka and is still used by its populace as a daily utensil. Intricate products as terracotta figures, carved vases, etc are bought by the visitors as souvenirs.

     

     

    Batiks

     

    Batik is basically an Indonesian art, but has evolved in Sri Lanka into its unique style. Tourists can find varieties of batiks sold throughout the island. More popular among these are the batik pictures made in Kandy and Fresco Batiks on the Peradeniya road in the outskirts of Kandy.

     

     

    Metal Works

     

    Sri Lanka has a long tradition in metalwork. Metalwork is produced with the whole range of metals and alloys in Sri Lanka: gold, silver, brass, tin, lead and iron, as well as their various alloys, in all sorts of work ranging from ornamental casting and pierced designs. Handicrafts of damascene - decorating metal such as iron or steel with wavy patterns of etching or inlays of precious metals and filigree-delicate decorative openwork made from thin precious metal twisted wire are produced in Sri Lanka in traditional techniques.

     

     

    Metal Cutwork

     

    Handicraft of metal cutwork involves cutting the design onto a flat sheet of metal first and embellishing the work by engraving, hatching or Repose secondly. This method is adopted mainly in production of metalwork such as trays and plaques. In Repose method, the desired pattern is hammered in on the reverse side so that the relief carvings emerge on the front side. Repose metalwork is the most characteristic type of Sri Lankan metalwork. This method is applied on brass, copper, silver, or all three together to create a variety of traditional designs.

     

     

    Brassware & Castings

     

    Brassware is produced in two main techniques: wrought and cast. Bowls, tea services, trays, and ornamental ware as well as decorative ware are produced in wrought technique. Coconut oil lamps, pots, bowls, vases, wall plaques, trinket boxes and other household utensils are made with cast technique. Brass Castings are done by the "lost wax" method: the model is sculpted in wax, covered with clay, and baked so that the wax is melted out leaving the mould made of clay. Then the clay mould is poured with the molten Brass. The casting technique produces fine Brassware of elephants, Buddha images, bowls, lamps and candlesticks.

     

     

    To make these products even more attractive, local craftsmen engrave the brassware with natural style motifs such as flowers, leaves, fruits and even sceneries. Silverware, like Brassware is a specialty of the Kandyan provinces, ornately carved and filigree jewellery, trays, trinket boxes, tea-sets, candle-stands, cutlery and ash-trays.

     

    Jewellery

     

    Sri Lanka is an outstanding maker of jewellery and its economy is benefitted to a great extent. There are two conventions of jewellery making; Galle and Kandyan traditions. Galle is known for its precious stones while the Kandyan tradition is carried by its intricate metalwork.

     

    Wood Carving

     

    Handicraft of woodcarving in Sri Lanka has a long history. The tradition of woodcarving in Sri Lanka is visible at Lankatilaka Temple and Ambekka Devale in Kandy. At these temples, miniature replicas of the low-relief wood carving done by the traditional woodcarvers can be bought at fair prices. The three dimensional carvings of ebony Elephants, Buddha are popular in Sri Lanka. Wood-carved decorative panels are used widely in Sri Lanka in the trade of interior decoration too. A wide range of handicraft items made of wood combine utility and beauty adding elegance to your lifestyle, such as wall hangings, fancy jewellery, figurines, sculpture, lacquer products, gift boxes, toys, educational items for pre-school children, household items are some of the woodcraft items produced in Sri Lanka.

     

     

    Lacquer Works

     

    Lacquerwork in Sri Lanka is handicraft from the Kandyan provinces. Lac is a resin secreted from the bark of certain trees that have been infested with the Lac beetle. The resin is scraped from the bark, melted and strained. While the Lac is soft, pigment is beaten in to produce the desired colour and left to dry. Lac is applied in two different techniques. The method called spool-work is practiced with applying a stick of Lac to the object fixed onto a spindle of a lathe machine. The resulting friction caused by the revolving objects melts the Lac making it seep into the grain making a glossy coating on the object. Ornaments, walking sticks, book-ends, ash trays letteropeners, wooden handles etc are decorated with Lacquerwork. The method called nail work is practiced by using a thumbnail to fashion the thread of Lac. In addition to these traditional methods, today, Lacquer work is produced by an inferior method: painting the object and then covering it with layers of varnish.

     

     

    Sri Lankan Handloom Textiles

     

    Handloom textiles are produced in Sri Lanka within the confines of a small-scale industry that generates employment to rural women. Among the handloom textiles produced are household linen such as bedclothes and towels, upholstery materials, furnishing materials such as curtaining, cushion covers, saris and sarongs. Books, notebooks, albums, and even writing pads are now clothed with this handcrafted material of textile. The handloom woven in cotton and silk textiles of vibrant colours have been popular among locals and tourists.

     

     

    The combination of traditional designs with the latest trends in modern material woven using new processing techniques has made export quality handlooms so that Sri Lanka can access the competitive international market.

     

    Sri Lanka exports curtaining, table linen, bed linen, kitchen linen, upholstery and dress fabric and other products to foreign markets. The products in demand in the local market are curtaining, table linen, bed linen furnishing, cushion covers, sarongs and saris. Currently, cotton and silk yarn is imported from India and Korea, monthly. Around 900 private handloom producers in small, medium and large-scale are operating in the country.

     

    The handloom textile industry is a highly labour-intensive, export oriented rural-based industry. However, the lack of weavers and the high production cost have hampered the growth of the industry considerably. There is a slight decrease in the current workforce in the industry as it is labour-intensive. There were around 15,000 people working in the industry five years back.

     

    Reed & Rush Ware

     

    Reed and rush-wares are made of materials processed of Talipot or Thalakola, coconut and bamboo. Among the handcrafted products are table mats, cane furniture, mats, bags, purses, baskets, hats, boxes, lamp shades, kitchen and household articles and screens.

     

     

    Mat Weaving in Sri Lanka

     

    Since the ancient times, Mat weaving used to be practiced by rural women at home while their spouses were away at work in paddy fields or Chena cultivation in Sri Lanka. Today, mat weaving is a popular cottage industry with established sales outlets around the island. A fibre similar to Jute extracted from the leaves of Hana - hemp grown wild in the marshy lands of Sri Lanka is processed, dyed and woven in patterns. The modern Mat weaving craftsmen in Sri Lanka, to keep up with contemporary requirements, have introduced innovations in producing cushion covers, hand bags, shopping bags, letter holders, fans, screens etc. For centuries, Dumbara Valley of the Kandy District has been famous for its production of mats with distinctive design and colour schemes.

     

     

    Lace Making

     

    Lace making is not an indigenous art that was pioneered by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It began in the southwestern coastal areas, especially around Galle and was practised by the Dutch ladies during the Dutch colonial era. Later Sinhala ladies found on Lace making and established handicraft in south western coastal belt of Sri Lanka. During the 19th century, when Galle sea-port was in its heyday, lace products of the southwestern coastal belt raised to greater heights in popularity. Today lace making is carried out mainly by Sinhala ladies who inherited the handicraft from their ancestors.

     

     

    Along Galle, Weligama coastal areas, ladies are seen engaged in lace making-crochet and tatting-in the verandas of their houses. Among the products made with lace making are blouses, table linen, curtains, bed spreads and pillows.

     

    Architecture of Sri Lanka

     

    Architecture in Sri Lanka has always been closely associated with religion. Buddhism has always been an umbrella under which the architecture of Sri Lanka has evolved. Sri Lanka has also remained under the occupation of Portuguese, followed by the Dutch and finally the British. All these reigns left their impact on the architecture in Sri Lanka. Colonial legacy can be seen in ancient colonial buildings in the country.

     

    Buddhist Architecture

     

    The most prominent essence of Buddhist architecture is the Dagoba (stupa) spread everywhere in the island. The structure is in a shape of dome, often painted in white. It enshrines the Buddha's relics such as hair and tooth. Bricks are used to make the structure which is covered with plaster. The tradition of building the Stupas originated during the reign of Emperor Asoka of India who sent his son Mahinda to Sri Lanka as a Buddhist missionary. Since then Dagobas emerged in the island. The Dagobas can be seen in bubble shape, bell shape, pot shape, the heap of paddy shape, and Amalaka shape.

     

    Hindu Architecture

     

    Most Hindu temples in Sri Lanka are dedicated to Lord Shiva. They are known as Kovils in Sri Lanka. A Hindu temple usually consists of a prayer hall and shrine room. Shikhara is the central edifice of the Hindu temple. Shikhara is in dome or pyramid shape and richly adorned with sculptures. The visitors to the temple circumbulate the deity clockwise.

     

    European Architecture

     

    European architecture left considerably influenced the building construction in Sri Lanka. The Portuguese left the tiled-roof building with its veranda. Galle fort is an excellent example of Dutch legacy. British constructed elegant buildings in hill stations and Colombo.

     

    Sculpture and Painting

     

    Arts like sculpture and painting in Sri Lanka have always developed under the influence of Buddhism. Most works of sculpture in the country have been of Buddha images. The idols of Buddha's were carved from the living rock of limestone cliffs. Other materials like jade, rock, crystal, marble, emerald, ivory, coral and wood were also used for expressing art. Three main poses of Buddha idols are standing, meditating, and reclining. Sculptors of Sri Lanka were exquisitely skilled. They built idols which symbolised religious beliefs of the Lankans.

     

  • Handicrafts of Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka takes pride in its extensive variety of handicrafts. Tradition of making handicrafts is primeval. Requirements of the society and their creativeness combined to make these articles and serve as wonderful souvenirs. It can be found in shops and stores in all parts of the country.

     

     

    Masks

     

    Sri Lankans exclusively use masks and facial decorative wear. Since ancient times, masks have been used in rituals, dramas, and to cure sickness. Traditional Lankans think that masks have curative power for various physical and physiological illnesses. Most masks are made of light wood called Kaduru.

     

     

    Pottery

     

    Pottery is one of the oldest crafts in Sri Lanka and is still used by its populace as a daily utensil. Intricate products as terracotta figures, carved vases, etc are bought by the visitors as souvenirs.

     

     

    Batiks

     

    Batik is basically an Indonesian art, but has evolved in Sri Lanka into its unique style. Tourists can find varieties of batiks sold throughout the island. More popular among these are the batik pictures made in Kandy and Fresco Batiks on the Peradeniya road in the outskirts of Kandy.

     

     

    Metal Works

     

    Sri Lanka has a long tradition in metalwork. Metalwork is produced with the whole range of metals and alloys in Sri Lanka: gold, silver, brass, tin, lead and iron, as well as their various alloys, in all sorts of work ranging from ornamental casting and pierced designs. Handicrafts of damascene - decorating metal such as iron or steel with wavy patterns of etching or inlays of precious metals and filigree-delicate decorative openwork made from thin precious metal twisted wire are produced in Sri Lanka in traditional techniques.

     

     

    Metal Cutwork

     

    Handicraft of metal cutwork involves cutting the design onto a flat sheet of metal first and embellishing the work by engraving, hatching or Repose secondly. This method is adopted mainly in production of metalwork such as trays and plaques. In Repose method, the desired pattern is hammered in on the reverse side so that the relief carvings emerge on the front side. Repose metalwork is the most characteristic type of Sri Lankan metalwork. This method is applied on brass, copper, silver, or all three together to create a variety of traditional designs.

     

     

    Brassware & Castings

     

    Brassware is produced in two main techniques: wrought and cast. Bowls, tea services, trays, and ornamental ware as well as decorative ware are produced in wrought technique. Coconut oil lamps, pots, bowls, vases, wall plaques, trinket boxes and other household utensils are made with cast technique. Brass Castings are done by the "lost wax" method: the model is sculpted in wax, covered with clay, and baked so that the wax is melted out leaving the mould made of clay. Then the clay mould is poured with the molten Brass. The casting technique produces fine Brassware of elephants, Buddha images, bowls, lamps and candlesticks.

     

     

    To make these products even more attractive, local craftsmen engrave the brassware with natural style motifs such as flowers, leaves, fruits and even sceneries. Silverware, like Brassware is a specialty of the Kandyan provinces, ornately carved and filigree jewellery, trays, trinket boxes, tea-sets, candle-stands, cutlery and ash-trays.

     

    Jewellery

     

    Sri Lanka is an outstanding maker of jewellery and its economy is benefitted to a great extent. There are two conventions of jewellery making; Galle and Kandyan traditions. Galle is known for its precious stones while the Kandyan tradition is carried by its intricate metalwork.

     

     

    Wood Carving

     

    Handicraft of woodcarving in Sri Lanka has a long history. The tradition of woodcarving in Sri Lanka is visible at Lankatilaka Temple and Ambekka Devale in Kandy. At these temples, miniature replicas of the low-relief wood carving done by the traditional woodcarvers can be bought at fair prices. The three dimensional carvings of ebony Elephants, Buddha are popular in Sri Lanka. Wood-carved decorative panels are used widely in Sri Lanka in the trade of interior decoration too. A wide range of handicraft items made of wood combine utility and beauty adding elegance to your lifestyle, such as wall hangings, fancy jewellery, figurines, sculpture, lacquer products, gift boxes, toys, educational items for pre-school children, household items are some of the woodcraft items produced in Sri Lanka.

     

     

    Lacquer Works

     

    Lacquerwork in Sri Lanka is handicraft from the Kandyan provinces. Lac is a resin secreted from the bark of certain trees that have been infested with the Lac beetle. The resin is scraped from the bark, melted and strained. While the Lac is soft, pigment is beaten in to produce the desired colour and left to dry. Lac is applied in two different techniques. The method called spool-work is practiced with applying a stick of Lac to the object fixed onto a spindle of a lathe machine. The resulting friction caused by the revolving objects melts the Lac making it seep into the grain making a glossy coating on the object. Ornaments, walking sticks, book-ends, ash trays letteropeners, wooden handles etc are decorated with Lacquerwork. The method called nail work is practiced by using a thumbnail to fashion the thread of Lac. In addition to these traditional methods, today, Lacquer work is produced by an inferior method: painting the object and then covering it with layers of varnish.

     

     

    Sri Lankan Handloom Textiles

     

    Handloom textiles are produced in Sri Lanka within the confines of a small-scale industry that generates employment to rural women. Among the handloom textiles produced are household linen such as bedclothes and towels, upholstery materials, furnishing materials such as curtaining, cushion covers, saris and sarongs. Books, notebooks, albums, and even writing pads are now clothed with this handcrafted material of textile. The handloom woven in cotton and silk textiles of vibrant colours have been popular among locals and tourists.

     

     

    The combination of traditional designs with the latest trends in modern material woven using new processing techniques has made export quality handlooms so that Sri Lanka can access the competitive international market.

     

    Sri Lanka exports curtaining, table linen, bed linen, kitchen linen, upholstery and dress fabric and other products to foreign markets. The products in demand in the local market are curtaining, table linen, bed linen furnishing, cushion covers, sarongs and saris. Currently, cotton and silk yarn is imported from India and Korea, monthly. Around 900 private handloom producers in small, medium and large-scale are operating in the country.

     

    The handloom textile industry is a highly labour-intensive, export oriented rural-based industry. However, the lack of weavers and the high production cost have hampered the growth of the industry considerably. There is a slight decrease in the current workforce in the industry as it is labour-intensive. There were around 15,000 people working in the industry five years back.

     

    Reed & Rush Ware

     

    Reed and rush-wares are made of materials processed of Talipot or Thalakola, coconut and bamboo. Among the handcrafted products are table mats, cane furniture, mats, bags, purses, baskets, hats, boxes, lamp shades, kitchen and household articles and screens.

     

     

    Mat Weaving

     

    Since the ancient times, Mat weaving used to be practiced by rural women at home while their spouses were away at work in paddy fields or Chena cultivation in Sri Lanka. Today, mat weaving is a popular cottage industry with established sales outlets around the island. A fibre similar to Jute extracted from the leaves of Hana - hemp grown wild in the marshy lands of Sri Lanka is processed, dyed and woven in patterns. The modern Mat weaving craftsmen in Sri Lanka, to keep up with contemporary requirements, have introduced innovations in producing cushion covers, hand bags, shopping bags, letter holders, fans, screens etc. For centuries, Dumbara Valley of the Kandy District has been famous for its production of mats with distinctive design and colour schemes.

     

     

    Lace Making

     

    Lace making is not an indigenous art that was pioneered by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It began in the southwestern coastal areas, especially around Galle and was practised by the Dutch ladies during the Dutch colonial era. Later Sinhala ladies found on Lace making and established handicraft in south western coastal belt of Sri Lanka. During the 19th century, when Galle sea-port was in its heyday, lace products of the southwestern coastal belt raised to greater heights in popularity. Today lace making is carried out mainly by Sinhala ladies who inherited the handicraft from their ancestors.

     

     

    Along Galle, Weligama coastal areas, ladies are seen engaged in lace making-crochet and tatting-in the verandas of their houses. Among the products made with lace making are blouses, table linen, curtains, bed spreads and pillows.

     

  • Antiques and Furniture

    Many collectors of antique furniture from around the world are attracted by Sri Lanka's elegant antique furniture. There are shops of antique furniture around tourist hotspots across the island. However, it is advisable for you to be aware of Sri Lanka’s laws governing export of antiques.

  • Gem & Jewellery

    Sri Lanka's historical chronicle Mahavamsa speaks of gems and jewellery. Indeed, the Lord Buddha himself had to come to Sri Lanka to settle a dispute between two kings, Chulodara and Mahodara, over a Gem Studded Throne.

     

    King Solomon is said to have bought gems from Sri Lanka to win the heart of his Queens. The great traveller, Marco Polo, was awestruck by a priceless ruby in the possession of the King of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was called Ratnadvipa as some of the rarest gems in the world are found in abundance under our feet and the hills above us. One of the world famous gemstones, Sri Lanka's Blue Sapphire that weighs 466 carats was discovered here. Other famous gems include the Blue Giant of the Orient, weighing nearly 500 carats and the Bluebell of Asia, which weighs 400 carats. The renowned Sri Lankan Star Sapphire is on permanent display at the Museum of Natural History in

     

    New York, but due to an oversight, the stone has been called the star of India. Throughout the history Sri Lanka's gems and jewellery have adorned the crown jewels of many a royal families. A gem - a 105 carat cat's eye - discovered in a paddy field in Sri Lanka, gained fame among the royalty of Britain and was successively admired by Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and Queen Elizabeth. Alexandrite, the rarest gem in the world is also found in Sri Lanka.

     

     

     

    Sapphire

     

     

    Blue colour variety of the corundum mineral species.

    Composition: Aluminium oxide with traces of iron and titanium

    Properties: Hardness: 9 Density: 4.0

    Refractive Index: 1.776 - 1.770 Birefringence: 0.008

    Colour: Blue, violetish blue in varying tones

    Valuation: Most valuable and most favoured of coloured gemstones

     

    There are many opinions about the origin of the word Sapphire. One is that it may have originated from Sanskrit, meaning precious to the Saturn Sanipriya (Sani = Saturn, Priya = Precious). Buddhist monks who moved to the Middle East introduced the stone as Sanipiriya and eventually become sapir and sapphire.

     

    Blue sapphire is associated with the Saturn and the birthstone for September. The 45th wedding anniversary is known as the sapphire anniversary.

     

    Blue sapphires from Sri Lanka have a unique beauty all their own,... Rakwana stones are of particular value with their colour compared to that found on the tip of a peacock feather or that on a peacock neck.

     

    Sri Lanka is the world's most prolific producer of giant sapphires (of more than 100 carats).

     

     

    Ruby

     

     

    Red colour variety of the corundum mineral species.

    Composition: Aluminium oxide with traces of chromium

    Properties: Hardness- 9; Density: 4.0;

    Refractive Index: 1.776 - 1.770; Birefringence: 0.008

    Colour: Red with a trace of violet. Also called pigeon blood red. Red fluorescence intensifies the body colour.

    Valuation: Most valuable of all coloured gemstones

     

    The name ruby was derived from the Latin word rubens, meaning 'red'. Ruby red colour represents love, passion and power.

     

    Ruby is the birthstone for July and is associated with the Zodiac signs Leo and Cancer. Ruby is associated with the Sun in Vedic astrology. It is the gemstone for 40th wedding anniversary.

     

    Ruby is the king of coloured gemstones and also the magnificent red variety of the multi-coloured corundum species, with bright red body colour and fluorescence, supreme hardness and toughness, outstanding brilliance and lustre and the highest value of all coloured gemstones for the rarity. Bright red colour of 'Burmese ruby' from Mogok valley in Myanmar is the most demanded. Rubies from Sri Lanka are of higher brilliance with a trace of violet.

     

    Top grade Sri Lankan reds (rubies) are virtually indistinguishable from their Mogok brethren.

     

     

    Padparadsha

     

    Pink and yellow mixed variety of the corundum mineral species

    Composition: Aluminium oxide with traces of chromium and yellow colour centres

    Properties: Hardness: 9 Density: 4.0

    Refractive Index: 1.776 - 1.770 Birefringence: 0.008

    Colour: Pink with a mixture of yellow/ orange compared to colour of the Lotus Flower. Fluorescence of red and orange.

    Valuation: It is one of the most beautiful and valuable gemstones, and the prices vary greatly according to size and quality.

     

    The term Padparadsha is derived from the Sanskrit / Sinhalese Padma Raga, the colors seen in the lotus flower with pink petals Blue colour of peacock neck The colors seen in the lotus flower with pink petals and yellow colour pollen. A view of a gem mining area in Sri Lanka 112 | Lustrous Gems & Gem Mining in Sri Lanka and yellow colour pollen. It is a special variety of the corundum species in an extraordinary mixture of pink and orange colours. Some define the gem's color as a blend of lotus flower and sunset.

     

    The original locality for Padparadscha was Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Fine stones have also been found in Vietnam's Quy Chau district, Tanzania's Tunduru district, and Madagascar.

     

     

    Alexandrite

     

     

    A colour changing variety of the Chrysoberyl mineral species.

    Composition: Beryllium aluminium oxide with traces of chromium

    Properties: Hardness: 8.5 Density: 3.71

    Refractive Index: 1.745- 1.754 Birefringence: 0.009

    Colour: Green body colour for day light changing to red colour under tungsten light

    Colour: Green body colour for day light changing to red colour under tungsten light

     

    This gem was named in honour of the future Tsar Alexander II. of Russia during whose reign the Russian imperial colours were also red and green.

     

    Sri Lanka is one of the suppliers of Alexandrite and Alexandrite Cat's Eye varieties

     

    Alexandrite is reputed to aid creativity and inspire the imagination. It is also considered a stone of very good omen. In critical situations, when logic is not the answer, the wearer of this gem will be helped to overcome by strengthening his intuition. Alexandrite is the gemstone for 55th anniversary.

     

    "If you love magic, especially the magic of science, you'll love alexandrite, the color-change gem. Outside daylight, it is cool bluish mossy green. Inside lamplight, it is red with a warm raspberry tone. You can watch it flicking back and forth by switching from fluorescent to incandescent light."

     

     

    CHRY SOBERYL Cat's Eye

     

     

    Cat's Eye variety of the chrysoberyl species.

    Composition: Beryllium aluminium oxide and silky inclusion

    Properties: Hardness: 8 Density: 3.71

    Refractive Index: 1.745 - 1.754 Birefringence: 0.009

    Colour: Brown, green, yellow and their mixed hues. Special optical effect: Chatoyancy, the cat's eye effect due to oriented fine silky inclusions.

    Valuation: One of the most valuable gemstones, and the prices vary greatly according to size and quality.

     

    Cat's Eye and Alexandrite Cat's Eye varieties of the Chrysoberyl species are found in Sri Lanka gem gravels, some of which are of the highest quality and in large sizes. 'Ray of Treasure' Cat's Eye of 105 carats is part of the gemstone collection of the National Gem & Jewellery Authority.

     

    Cat's Eye is the variety of Chrysoberyl species which is believed to posses some special qualities. It has been regarded as an effective protective stone and talisman gemstone to keep disasters away. Chrysoberyl with its golden tones is often associated with wealth, a reason for the Cat's Eye being a gemstone of the luxury class.

     

    This gemstone helps maintain discipline and self-control, promotes concentration and the ability to learn, and enables the wearer to think clearly and far-sightedly. It also transforms the negative thoughts of the wearer into positive energy, and promotes tolerance and harmony. It is one of the lucky stones for those born under the sign of Leo. Cat's Eye is the gemstone for 18th anniversary.

     

     

    Star Sapphire

     

     

    Blue colour star variety of the corundum mineral species.

    Composition: Aluminium oxide with traces of iron and titanium for colour and oriented fine rutile needles in three directions.

    Properties: Hardness: 9 Density: 4.0

    Refractive Index: 1.776 - 1.770 Birefringence: 0.008

    Colour: Blue, violetish blue in varying tones

    Valuation: Star effect with bright silky rays in three directions

     

    Some of the giant Star Sapphires from Sri Lanka are: "Star of Artaban" (316 carats) and the "Bismark Sapphire" (98.6 carats), both are in the Smithsonian Collection, "Star of India " and "Midnight Star" (116.75 carats), both in American Museum of National History in New York and also the finest 393 carat "Star of Sri Lanka" is in the possession of the National Gem & Jewellery Authority.

     

    "Over the years Sri Lanka has produced some large natural blue sapphires, both faceted and stars. These include top quality gems in the 100 - 300 ct range. Many of the largest sapphires in museum collections around the world have originated from the gem gravels of Sri Lanka."

     

     

    Star Ruby

     

     

    Red coloured star variety of the corundum mineral species

    Composition: Aluminium oxide with traces of chromium for colour and oriented fine rutile needles in three directions.

    Properties: Hardness: 9 Density: 4.01

    Refractive Index: 1.776 - 1.770 Birefringence: 0.008

    Colour: Red, violetish red in varying tones

    Special Optical Effects: Star Effect with bright silky rays in three directions

    Valuation: One of the valuable gemstones

     

    This phenomenon of asterism, producing star effect is caused by very fine needles of rutile oriented in three directions. When perfectly cut, the six-spoked star will be seen to glide magically across the surface of the stone when the latter is moved. The value depends on the beauty and the attractiveness of the hot red colour and transparency, in addition to the well centred strong and sharp rays of the star.

     

    Sri Lanka Star Rubies are light red, like ripe raspberries, but, with very bright rays of the star.

     

     

    Moonstone

     

     

    A variety of the feldspar group - Potassium aluminium silicate with special optical effect of schiller called Adularescence

    Properties: Hardness: 6 - 6.5 Density: 2.56

    Refractive Index: 1.520 - 1.539 Birefringence: 0.008

    Colour: Moonstones come in a variety of colors. The body color can range from colorless to white, gray, brown, yellow, green, or pink. Its beauty is produced by white or blue schiller effect.

     

    Identification of moonstone is the display of shimmer, caused by the intergrowth of two different varieties of feldspar, with different refractive values. Its characteristic inclusion is called 'centepede' or 'Chinese aeroplane' which is due to the fine cleavage fractures in to two directions.

     

    "The ancient Romans theorized that moonstone, with its unearthly shimmer, was formed from frozen moonlight. This appealing gem variety does shine with a cool lunar light but it is the mineral feldspar, quite terrestrial in origin."

     

    Moonstones from Sri Lanka, the classical country of origin of the moonstone, shimmer in pale blue is on an almost transparent background. The best variety with blue sheen is mined in southern Sri Lanka in an area near Ambalangoda, which had formed in a rock type called pegmatite.

     

    Topaz

     

     

    Composition: Fluorine containing aluminium silicate

    Properties: Hardness: 8 Density: 3.53

    Refractive Index: 1.610 - 1.630 Birefringence: 0.010

    Colour: Colourless, pink, blue, yellow, orange, brown

    Topaz sometimes has the amber gold of fine cognac or the blush of a peach, and all the beautiful warm browns and oranges in between. Some rare and exceptional examples are pale pink to a sherry red.

     

    Blue, once the most rare color of topaz, is today the most common, due to a stable enhancement process that turns colorless topaz to blue. After irradiation it turns to brown and then heated to sky blue. This enhancement process is permanent. Topaz from Sri Lanka had become most popular for this treatment.

     

    "The Egyptians said that topaz was colored with the golden glow of the sun god. Legend has it that topaz dispels all enchantment and helps to improve eyesight. The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency." AGTA

     

    The birthstone for November, topaz is a talisman for the sign of Sagittarius and is the suggested gift for the 23rd anniversary.

     

     

    Rhodolite Garnet

     

     

    Pyrope and Almandine Mixture Garnet is the group of six gem quality species in an intermixing compositions, representing more than ten varieties in different colours, but with exception for blue colour. Red is the most often encountered colour, which appears in varying hues and tones, produced from the combination of almandine-pyrope species.

     

    Composition: Magnesium-iron aluminium silicate

    Properties: Hardness: 7 - 7 Density: 3.7- 4.2

    Refractive Index: 1.74 - 1.79 singly refractive

    Colour: Red, purplish red, pale to deep mauve

    The name garnet is derived from Latin granum (seed) meaning grainy, which has its origin in Sanskrit. This makes the reference to typical roundest shape of garnet crystals in rhombdoceahedral or trapezohedral habit and also to the pink to red colour, reminding the similarity in appearance to seed of a ripe pomegranate.

     

    Garnets were known to man for thousands of years. They are found in jewellery from the early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. Early explorers liked to carry garnets with them in consideration as a talisman and protective stone, by believing it to light up the night and protect the bearer from evil and disaster. It was also the belief that these gems would bestow upon their wearer a variety of love sentiments, including commitment and devotion. Fiery red pyrope garnets were popular in the Victorian period as Bohemian garnets which were coming from Bohemia (in Europe). Rhodolite is the pyrope and almandine mixed variety with varying tones of violetish red colour coming from most of gem mining areas in Sri Lanka.

     

    Garnet is the gemstone for 2nd anniversary and the birthstone for the month of January.

     

     

    Spinel

     

     

    Composition: Magnesium aluminium oxide

    Properties: Hardness: 8 Density: 3.60

    Refractive Index: 1.72 single refractive

    Spinel exhibits in a wide range of colours from near colourless, through shades of orange, and pink to red, pale blue through deep blue to dark blue, bluish green and black.

     

    Spinel is the end member of a group of species with proportional intermixing (isomorphism), with its other family members of ceylonite, pleonaste and hercinite with ferrous iron, gahnospinel and gahnite with zinc, chromite with chromium, chlorospinel with ferric iron and rare cobalt spinel with cobalt.

     

    Spinel is known as the greatest imposter in gemstone history, by occupying in many crown jewels as famous rubies. The famous Black Prince's ruby in the Imperial State Crown of England of the British Crown Jewels is a 170 carat red spinel. The Timor Ruby now owned by Queen Elizabeth and with the names of some of the Mogul emperors who previously owned it being Tourist Directory 2015 Lustrous Gems & Gem Mining in Sri Lanka | 115 engraved on its face is a 361 carat red spinel.

     

    Even today strong red spinels from Burma and bright blue spinels from Sri Lanka impose confusion for ruby and sapphire. On the other hand, two blue rarities - cobalt spinel and gahnospinel, both found in Sri Lanka bring delight to collectors. Taaffeite with a similar appearance in colour but belongs to a different species is a rare gemstones found in gem gravels in Sri Lanka along with spinels.

     

    Spinel is the gemstone for the 22nd anniversary.

     

     

    Zircon

     

     

    Composition: Zirconium silicate

    Properties: Hardness: 7 - 6 Density: 4.8 to 3.9

    Refractive Index: 1.92 - 1.99 to 1.76 - 1.84

    Birefringence: 0.059 to almost none in metamict stones

    Color: Colourless, pink, blue, yellow, orange, brown

    Name probably comes from Persian word 'zargun' meaning "gold coloured" though it is found in a other colours.

     

    Zircon comes in a wide range of colours and for many years,the most popular was the colourless variety which looks similar to diamonds than any other natural gemstone, due to its high brilliance, refraction and dispersion. This material was known as Matara diamond for originating in the Rakwana Hills in the Southern part of Sri Lanka and its destination in Europe.

     

    It was the tradition to produce blue, yellow and colourless varieties by heat treatment, which is accepted by the trade. Zircons are also found in other colours of green, red, brown and orange.

     

    In the Middle Ages, it was in the belief that zircon was said to help sleep, bring prosperity and promote honour and wisdom to its owner. Hindu poets mention of Kalpa Tree (Kalpa Wruksha) the ultimate gift of the gods, a glowing tree covered in gemstone fruits with zircon of leaves.

     

     

    Gem mining

     

     

    The process of mining for gems begins at an auspicious time followed by a brief religious ceremony. The most common methods of mining are in pits and by tunnelling. Surface gemming and dredging depend on the location and the type of deposits. Stones are normally found in a layer of crude, pebbly material, which contains traces of clay and fine sand. This gravel containing gems is referred to as "illam" and is found just below the alluvial deposits.

     

    Gem pits are of two kinds. The shallow ones are well-shaped and circular, whereas deep pits are rectangular. To prevent the walls of the pits from caving-in scaffoldings are made and the spaces filled with leaves. The water is then pumped out of the pit. If the "illam" vein runs horizontally, tunnelling has to be done so. There is another method of collecting illam is to place on a wooden poles across the river bed and standing on a pole with a long stick, a person drags the gravel towards him, then collects it in buckets.

     

    Lastly, the gravel is washed in large circular rattan buckets by immersing them in water and rotating them. This enables the light, ordinary pebbles and sediment to escape, leaving the heavier pebbles behind. Then the baskets are held against the sunlight and the sorting is carried out. Each illam brings forth a variety of stones.

     

    The principal source of Alexandrite, the rarest gem in the world is Sri Lanka. It was first found in the Urals in 1830 and is named after Czar Alexander II. This stone shines green in natural light but turns raspberry red in artificial light.

     

    The cat's eye is another stone which is considered valuable and rare. It derives its name from the fact that a silvery line runs across its greenish-gray surface, giving it a remarkable resemblance to the eye of a cat. The rarest type is the black cat's eye.

     

    Sri Lanka can boast of having 70 varieties of precious and semiprecious stones.

     

     

  • Indigenous Medicine

    Sri Lanka has its own indigenous system of traditional medicine which has been practiced for over five thousand years. Sri Lanka’s indigenous system of traditional medicine is known as Desheeya Chikitsa and has been influenced by Ayurveda and Siddha of India and Unani medicine of Greece.

     

     

     

    What is Ayurveda?

     

    Considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science, Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health that is designed to help people live long, healthy, and well balanced lives. The term Ayurveda is taken from the Sanskrit words 'Ayu' meaning life or lifespan, and 'Veda' meaning knowledge. It has been practiced in Sri Lanka and India for at least 5,000 years and has recently become popular in Western cultures. The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illness by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper drinking, diet, and lifestyle and herbal remedies.

     

    The main type of Ayurveda is traditional. This Ayurveda is based on translations from the classical texts. Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe herbs, believe that disease results from an imbalance in the Doshas (see below), and use many of the same remedies for treating illness. Ayurveda, however, stresses the role of supreme awareness in maintaining good health, and promotes meditation as a way to experience the pure consciousness of the universe. It also highlights the expression of positive emotions and the need to adjust your life to the natural rhythms of the body.

     

    Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, according to Ayurveda, each person has a distinct pattern of energy - a specific combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. It is also believed that there are three basic energy types called Doshas, present in every person.

     

    Everyone has Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, but usually one or two are dominant in a particular person. Many things can disturb the energy balance, such as stress, an unhealthy diet, the weather, and strained family relationships. The disturbance shows up as disease. Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe treatments to bring the Doshas back into balance.

     

    From a Western medical viewpoint, stress relief seems to be one of the ways Ayurveda works to help fight illness. For example, studies have found that meditation, a part of Ayurveda, lowers anxiety and that Ayurveda lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, slows the aging process, and speeds recovery from illness.

     

    Many herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine have antioxidant effects, which mean that they help to protect long term illnesses such, as heart disease and arthritis. Many Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend a vegetarian diet, which is believed to be better for your heart than diets containing red meat.

     

    What is Dheshiya Chikitsa?

     

     

    Even before Ayurveda existed, Dheshiya Chikitsa - the indigenous medical system - existed in Sri Lanka. The statue of Rishi Pulasthi 'the Father of Ayurveda' at Pulasthipura proves that there existed a very developed way of treating the sick, long before Ayurveda travelled from India to Sri Lanka and mixed with Dheshiya Chikitsa. Since then it had been preserved continuously in its tradition and is still used to date. Historical scripts confirm the exchange of information between India and Sri Lanka long before its 'official' introduction. Valmiki's Ramayana details few examples for it.

     

    The concept of the Ayurveda is as old as the civilization of mankind. This had taken many turns inherited many ideologies along the passage of time, getting refined into a fine art. The word 'Ayurveda' is made of two syllables. The first part 'Ayur' means long life, 'Veda' means science. The basic rule or the law is to live among and to take care of oneself with nature. The creatures living on the surface cannot live under water and those that live under water cannot live on surface. Nature is considered the mother of all beings, and all living creatures are dependent on the nature for their survival i.e. everything revolves around nature and nature itself brings up, preserves its creations. Ayurveda strictly follows the rules of nature, as it points out: what, when, why, how, how, much: to eat, work, rest, wash, bathe, which, help us to lead a perfectly healthy life. There are two divisions in Ayurvedic treatment. Ayurveda treatment besides healing also aims at rejuvenating the body.

     

    Over the time the word Ayurveda was added to Dheshiya Chikitsa which absorbed many Ayurvedic ways of which prime time goes back to many thousands of years. The knowledge of this complex art of healing was originally passed only on verbally. The first notes were written down in Sanskrit and dating back to more than 5000 years. Opposing to our present health system, Ayurveda is a holistic life concept. It teaches how to keep healthy, maintain your vitality and joy of life right into old age.

     

    Ayu means 'life' and Veda is the 'knowledge', the science, meaning, you can translate Ayurveda as 'science of life'. It is however not just all about passing on theoretical knowledge, but the practical rules are there to help manage everyday life, to restore and maintain the unity of body, soul and spirit. Ayurveda acknowledges three levels of a primary healing:

     

    1. Treating the illness

    2. Avoiding the illness and encouraging the wellbeing

    3. Developing self-awareness and the balance of the body, soul and spirit.

     

    Most of us think about medicine only, when we are ill and look for being healed. The medicine we subsequently take is to repair what is wrong. Western medicine treats illnesses with forceful therapies and medicaments or operations that could have side effects. In order to treat an illness and restore the balance, Ayurveda uses natural products for preparing medicines. This aspect of Ayurveda is called Shamana Chikitsa.

     

    But Ayurveda is also able to prevent illnesses and heal before the symptoms manifest themselves. To this end lifestyle, surroundings, working conditions and psychological circumstances must be considered. Those factors that incline our body to become vulnerable to illnesses should be removed from our life. Striving to be healthy will become a continuous adapting and achieve a balanced lifestyle.

     

    Medical Feats of Ancient Sinhalese

     

     

    Sinhala medical traditions date back to the pre-history. A number of medical discoveries are only now being known by western medicine, but the ancient Sinhalese introduced the concept of hospitals to the world. According to the Mahawamsa, the ancient chronicle of Sinhalese royalty, written in the 6th century AD, King Pandukabhaya (4th century BCE) had lyingin- homes and hospitals (Sivikasotthi-Sala) built in various parts of the country after having fortified his capital at Anuradhapura. This is the earliest literary evidence we have of the concept of hospitals (i.e. a special centre where a number of patients could be collectively housed and treated until they recovered) anywhere in the world.

     

    Prof. Arjuna Aluvihare ("Rohal Kramaya Lovata Dhayadha Kale Sri Lankikayo" in the Vidhusara Science Magazine, Nov. 1993) says that there is no evidence, literary or otherwise, to show that hospitals were known elsewhere before the time of King Pandukabhaya. According to Prof. Aluvihare, the oldest archaeological evidence we have so far of a hospital is the ruins of Mihintale, where the remains of a hospital built in the ninth century could still be seen. The layout of the building and the discovery of a medicinal trough and surgical instruments prove this beyond doubt. Heinz E Muller-Dietz (Historia Hospitalium 1975) describes Mihintale Hospital as the oldest in the world. All medieval Sinhalese hospitals so far discovered appear to have comprised of a central courtyard surrounded by cells for the treatment and an adjoining second courtyard with surrounding rooms which were used for the storage and preparation of medicines, besides other purposes.

     

    It should be noted that ancient and medieval Sri Lanka, had a corporate social organization where the state provided welfare services to the people in return for the labour provided by masses to build irrigation works, palaces and religious edifices. As such the state provided free medical care to all its citizens regardless of race, caste, sex, religion or status. Although traditional Sinhalese medicine has a number of distinctive features, it is primarily based on the science of Ayurveda (a Sanskrit term meaning "science of life") an essentially herbal system set forth in the medicinal texts (Samhitas).

     

    Ancient Sri Lankans had extremely cordial relations with Mauryans India who would have considerably helped facilitate the spreading of the great Indian medicinal tradition amongst the local population. King Asoka's (3rd century BCE) Girinar rock edict states that he provided medicines and medical aid 86 | Ayurveda of Sri Lanka S LT RAINBOW PAGES for both men and animals as far as Tambapanni (The old Indian name for Sri Lanka).

     

    However, in spite of the profound Indian influence, Sinhalese medical knowledge has developed on its own with the passage of time and we note a number of distinctive features, which mark it out from other medical systems. We come across a number of references to medicines and medical treatment in the ancient Sinhalese chronicles. According to the Mahawamsa, prior to the birth of Dutugemunu, Queen Viharamahadevi gifted medicines to the Buddhist clergy in order that she may conceive. The same work alludes to King Dutugemunu having donated food and medicine to the sick.

     

    King Buddhadasa (340-368 AD) the country's renowned physician-king was an expert in general medicine, surgery, midwifery and veterinary science. The King's surgical operation on an outcaste (Chandala) woman in order to deliver her child and the surgical removal of a lump in the belly of a cobra is some of the feats narrated of this remarkable monarch in the sequel to the Mahawamsa and Chulavansa. The chronicle states that the king constantly carried a set of surgical instruments with him on his journeys. It speaks well for the nobility of this king who cast aside ancient prejudices "unimaginable in those caste-ridden days to have attended on an outcaste. This in itself shows that the Sinhalese medical establishment of yore considered service to humanity to be such a sacred and estimable duty as to even transcend caste barriers, which were otherwise strictly observed at the time. The king's surgical feats on a helpless serpent also show that not only humans, but also other creatures benefited from the medical skills acquired by the ancients. The king is also stated to have given medical professionals due remuneration for their services to the people. The Chulavansa states that the king "gave the physicians the produce often fields as livelihood."

     

    The compilation of the "Sarartha Sangraha", a comprehensive medical treatise in Sanskrit is also credited to King Buddhadasa. Although this work is similar in arrangement to the Samhita of Shushruta, it contains much original information as well. The work deals with the preparation of drugs, clinical diagnosis, surgical instruments and operations, ear, nose and throat diseases, eye diseases, tuberculosis, insanity, epilepsy and obstetrics, besides a number of other subjects of medical importance. King Agrabodhi VII (766-772 AD) even went to the extent of undertaking fresh research pertaining to medicinal substances. According to the Chulavansa, the king "studied the medicinal plants over the entire Island of Sri Lanka to ascertain whether they were wholesome or harmful to the sick." King Mahinda IV (956-972 AD) had distributed beds and medicines to all the hospitals of his realm.

     

    King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 AD) who was also wellversed in medicine helped qualified physicians practise their skills by providing them with due maintenance. It is thought to be necessary to give a more detailed explanation of the Sinhala Hospital tradition in order to provide an idea the extent to which the Sinhalese had advanced in hospital care. The ninth century Mihintale hospital which has the distinction of being the oldest hospital yet discovered in any part of the world as seen earlier, was quite a complex structure. The hospital is believed to have been founded by King Sena II (851-885 AD) on the basis of evidence in the Chulavamsa. As shown by recent archaeological excavations the hospital complex comprised of an outer and inner court. The rooms used for the preparation and storage of medicines and the hot water bath were situated in the outer court. The discovery of stone querns used in the grinding of herbs in the outer court area suggests that the preparation of medicines took place thereabouts.

     

    The inner court in common with later hospitals was surrounded by a number of cells where the patients appear to have been treated. A slab inscription of King Mahinda IV (956-972 AD) near the hospital alludes to physicians; physicians who apply leeches and dispensers of medicine. Other hospitals of the medieval period which have been excavated are the Medirigiriya and Polonnaruwa hospitals.

     

    Excavations at Medirigiriya, where a hospital is believed to have flourished in the ninth century, have revealed a stone medicine trough and querns for grinding medicine. Excavations at the Polonnaruwa hospital site have revealed medicine grinders, a pair of scissors, ceramic jars for the storage of medicines and a hooked copper instrument which was probably used for incising abscesses.

     

    The construction of the hospital is assigned to King Parakramabahu I (12th century). Literary and epigraphic evidence however indicates there were many more hospitals and other institutions for the handicapped in existence in ancient and medieval Sri Lanka.

     

    According to the Chulavamsa, the kings Buddhadasa and Upatissa II built institutions for cripples and hospitals for the blind. Upatissa II was probably also responsible for building the country's first ever maternity home, while Kassapa IV had specialized hospitals built in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to combat Upasagga, which is believed to have been an epidemic disease.

     

    An inscription attributed to King Kassapa V (914-923 AD) records the establishment of "medical halls" in Anuradhapura. As borne out by the Kiribath Vehera pillar inscription attributed to King Kassapa IV (896-913 AD), the dispensary was such a hallowed institution that it had the privilege of affording sanctuary to offenders.

     

    As Dr. C. G. Uragoda (A History of Medicine in Sri Lanka,1987) notes: "This is indeed a privilege of a high order if one considers other institutions which have enjoyed similar time honoured positions, namely churches in medieval Europe Tourist Directory 2015 Ayurveda of Sri Lanka | 87 and embassies." As for the efficacy of local medicine this is borne out by a number of western authorities right down from the Portuguese colonial period (16th-17th centuries).

     

    Joao Ribeiro, the famous Portuguese soldier-historian who served in Sri Lanka from 1641-1658 has written in his reputed work "Fat alidade Historia de Ceilao": "They are great herbalists, and in case of wounds, tumours, broken arms and legs they affect a cure in a few days with great ease. As for cancer, which is a loathsome and incurable disease among us, they can cure it in eight days, removing all viscosity from the scab without so much as leaving a mark anywhere to show that the disease had been there. I have seen a large number of soldiers and captains cured during my residence in the country, and the ease with which this was done was marvellous.

     

    In truth the land is full of medicinal herbs and many antidotes to poison, which I have myself tried to learn as a remedy against snake-bites."

     

    Dr C.G. Uragoda ("A scientific basis for some traditional beliefs and practices in Sri Lanka". JRAS SL. 1989/1990) has shown that a good deal of traditional Sinhalese medical concepts, practices and drugs have a sound scientific basis. The concept of heaty (giniyam) and cooling (sitala) foods is one such example. Dr Uragoda has shown that a variety of fish such as skipjack (Balaya) and tuna (Kelavalla) which are usually regarded as heaty, have high histamine content, a substance which causes allergic reactions amongst some people. He has also shown that olden day Sinhalese folk knew that the malaria parasite was transmitted by the mosquito long before 1884 before Sir Patrick Manson propounded the theory that the malaria parasite was transmitted through mosquitoes. As evidence he has cited an interesting passage in Sir Emerson Tenant's Ceylon (1859) which alludes to the Sinhalese of the time employing mosquito curtains as a precaution against malaria. This would indicate that the Sinhalese knew that the mosquito was the vector of malaria at least 25 years before Manson advanced his famous Mosquito-Malaria theory and some of the traditional remedies cited by Dr Uragoda which have a sound scientific base are smoking of Adhatoda Vasica as treatment for excessive phlegm and use of Coscinium fenestratum (Venivel) for tetanus.

     

    In Ayurveda we should never forget our pre-historical Emperor Rawana. His superior acquaintance in Sanskrit can be evaluated from Sivathandawa Sthothra and he was a proficient Ayurvedic Physician. The art of distilling of Arka and the preparation of Asawa was his invention states Ayurvedic history. He invented the 'Varuni' machine to brew Arka. Rawana was the founder of Sindhuram medicine. These medicines cured wounds instantly. He was a divine pharmacologist and a Dhayana yogi.

     

     

  • Matrimonial Tradition

    Marriage or matrimony or wedlock can be referred to as a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. Definition of a marriage may vary depending on different cultures, but it is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged.

     

     

     

    Sri Lanka boasts a rich culture with diversity evolved and passed down to generation to generation over thousands of years. I think it is worth discussing about the matrimonial customs in Sri Lanka where various ethnic groups are living, the majority being Sinhalese Buddhists. The nation consists of Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Burghers and Vedda community. Their culture, religion and caste system dominate the customs of marriage.

     

    With the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the 5th century BC, regaining of spiritual mind of women practically helped win their rights and responsibilities. Cultural and behavioural patterns of our neighbouring country India highly influenced Sri Lanka's livelihood economically socially and politically.

     

    Names, surnames and attire helped to secure the caste system as well as the feudalism which were inherited in the traditional society. Prohibition of marriage among high and low caste was the rule of the day. If it happened against that, expulsion from the caste was the repercussion. A meeting known as 'Variga Shabha' was called to do so. The marriage between similar or same caste was considered a highly accepted norm in the early Sri Lankan society.

     

    According to early Sinhalese concept, intermarriage should occur among the same caste. Because of that reason, one caste, one religion and one language societies arose from separate villages.

     

    There were four types of marriages in the early Sri Lankan society. They were the general way of marrying a young woman called 'Deega Vivaha'. Marrying a young woman and settled down in her home called 'Binna Vivaha'. Marriage among nephews and nieces was called 'Avessa Vivaha' and the last one was polygamy or polyandry marriages. Marrying a woman by two brothers or marrying two sisters by one person was called 'Eka Gei Kema'. The last two types of marriages were meant to avoid outflow of family wealth.

     

    The first two types of marriages are accepted in the modern civilized society while the marriages among blood relations rarely take place.

     

    Nowadays love marriages are on the rise. Therefore, ethnicity, caste, religion and language differences are not considered as barriers for a successful marriage. These will perform with the blessings of their parents. Now they consider little age gap, education, financial status, social and professional status of both sides as good qualifications for a successful marriage.

     

    Up country marriages in early Sri Lanka

     

    According to early up-country marriage system of Sinhalese Buddhists, first, horoscope of the groom should match the bride's and if it does, then several relations of the groom other than his parents visit the bride's home to see the her and discuss with her parents about the proceedings.

     

    At the first visit to bride's place, they used to carry a lot of sweetmeats. According to the agreement they decide to publish or register the names of the couple and arrange an auspicious time. There was a custom of reading the auspicious time by one of the uncles. Before reading the auspicious timetable, white cloths are spread on the mat and 'Lada Pas Mal' (five varieties including parched grain, broken rice, white mustard, jasmine buds and panic grass) are sprinkled. Then couple should stand on the mat and light the lamp while reading the auspicious timetable. Then, adornment of gold necklace to the bride by the groom takes place. This custom is similar to 'changing the rings' in low country marriages.

     

     

    Low country marriages in early and present Sri Lanka

     

    Matchmaker played a big role in low country marriages and if the two horoscopes match, they go to see her first. On this occasion, a hand of betel or small casket of betel is carried by the bride to offer her future husband and relations. If she disliked him she indicates or implies it by offering the hand of betel or casket to another person. After the successful marriage proposal at the auspicious time groom goes to see the bride's place and hands over the wedding attire to her. On the same day, registration of their names is published. This customs is still practised in villages of the low country.

     

    Hindu marriages

     

    According to Hindu culture, marriage is considered as a sacred duty that entails both religious and social obligations. They erect a special shelter opposite their home and decorate it nicely. During twilight, amidst beating drums and blowing horns, the wedding occasion is informed to visitors and invitees. The owner of the house cordially welcomes them by offering them betel and areca nuts. In the early morning, one person lights lamps on the 'pot of prosperity' (Pun Kalasa) while two other persons walk either side wearing turbans. Then one of the two persons breaks a husked coconut with an axe. Meanwhile, the other person takes a handful of cow milk and pours the milk on to bride's head and blesses her. After this occasion, the bride is to bathe water mixed with fragrant flowers. Then all the visitors come and sit on the floor to have their meals while the groom comes with one of his cousins to the scene. Then bride's younger brother washes feet of the groom. Meanwhile, a ring is put into a water bowl as a gift to the brother-in-law. These types of customs are still in existence in Sinhala and Hindu weddings.

     

     

    Foreign Weddings In Sri Lanka

     

    The wedding day is without doubt the biggest day in one's life. Having it outside your home country would make it really exotic yet elegant leaving you with loads of unforgettable memories lasting forever. Sri Lanka is tropical paradise blessed with a stunning natural beauty. There are endless palmfringed beaches, scores of alluring rivers, lakes and waterfalls, breathtaking landscapes, world's top gemstones, world's most hospitable people, a rich culture with diversity and much more; all these would make your wedding a wonderful one indeed. Hence, I would not say why many foreign nationals prefer to have their wedding in this resplendent isle.

     

     

    If you are planning to tie your knot outside your motherland, you will need to familiarize yourselves with the marriage customs and laws of the country where you hope to get married. Then, you may solemnize your wedding according to the local customs, rituals and laws. Here we are discussing some important facts that we believe would help you have a really exotic Sri Lankan wedding in a tropical paradise.

     

    Foreign nationals will find no barrier to get married in Sri Lanka as the country' law permits it. However, to enter into the wedlock in Sri Lanka, foreign nationals required to fulfill certain legalities. First of all, when you get married in Sri Lanka, the following documents have to be produced to the Divisional /District Registrar of Marriages of the area where your marriage would take place.

     

    The legal documents required

     

    1. Birth Certificate

    2. Passport of both persons

    3. An affidavit signed by a solicitor/statutory declaration to confirm who you are and your present status (unmarried)

    4. If divorced, a decree absolute

    5. If widowed, the death certificate of your late spouse and your previous marriage certificate

    6. If you have changed your name, a deed poll (including divorcees who have reverted to their maiden names)

    7. If adopted, an adaptation certificate

    8. If under 18 years of age, evidence of parental consent in the form of a statutory declaration

     

    The certificate of freedom to marry or unmarried certificate is a legal document that sets out that you are free to marry. The affidavit or statutory declaration is a legal document that confirms who you are and your current status (unmarried/free to marry). Separate affidavits for each period of time that you lived in different countries, which are certified /legalized by respective foreign office & Sri Lanka mission accredited to the country. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issues this certificate which is also known as Civil Letter of Freedom. When you apply online for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, you need to forward a hard copy of the supporting document to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

     

     

    In case of foreign nationals, all documents should be in English and they must have been in Sri Lanka for at least four working days before the marriage can take place in order to allow time for completion of all paper work, (the exact length of time may vary). However, when it comes to your wedding, Sri Lanka has an array of beautiful, romantic locations where you could hold your exotic wedding. Most of the tourist hotels in the island facilitate foreign weddings on various themes. They do all needed for a perfect wedding including legal process, paying registration fees, and many other activities such as marriage licensing, marriage certificate (translation/legalizing), and all wedding ceremony arrangements.

     

    Finally, once you have married in Sri Lanka you must obtain your marriage certificate certified by the Consular Affairs Section of the Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo; if the certificate issued in Sinhala/Tamil language, you may obtain official English translation and certified it by the Ministry of External Affairs. Then only your marriage certificate will be valid to submit to authorities outside of Sri Lanka.

     

  • Sri Lanka Bank Notes

    Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is the institution, which was empowered by the Monetary Law Act as the sole authority to issue currency in Sri Lanka. Since its inception in 1950, the CBSL has issued eleven currency note series under eleven themes in different years as follows:

     

     

    Note Series currently in circulation

     

    The notes that are widely seen in circulation belong to 10 and 11 series of notes issued by the CBSL.

     

    10th Note Series - Sri Lanka Heritage – 1991

     

    This series consists of the following denominations: Rs. 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 2000.

     

    Rs.10 Currency Note

     

    Front

    An image of a lion carved of stone seen at Yapahuwa appears on the right and a moonstone design in the centre.

     

    Back

    The Old Parliament Building (at present the Presidential Secretariat) with a vignette of tree blossoms in the foreground.

     

    Rs. 20 Currency Note

     

    Front

    A traditional Sinhalese Mask on the right and a moonstone design in the centre

     

    Back

    Two fishermen perched on stilts and a conch shell placed on a coral reef.

     

    Rs. 50 Currency Note

     

    Front

    A headgear of a Sri Lankan dancer on the right, an ancient guardstone at the centre left and a moonstone design in the centre.

     

    back

    A sword hilt with intricate carvings and the Thuparama Dagoba and the Abayagiriya Dagoba in the background.

     

    Rs. 100 Currency Note

     

    Front

    An ancient decorated pot in the right side and a moonstone design in the center.

     

    back

    Two parrots with two female tea pluckers picking tea leaves and beautiful scenery from the hill country in the background.

     

    Rs. 500 Currency Note

     

    Front

    Two drummers to the right, a Kandyan dancer at the centre left, a moonstone design in the centre and an image of the Sri Maha Bodi in the background.

     

    Back

    Orchid flowers with Ruwanweli Maha Seya at Anuradhapura in the background.

     

    Rs. 1000 Currency Note

     

    Front

    A beautifully decorated tusker with its mahout on the right, a tusker carrying Tooth Relic in the centre left and a moonstone design in the centre.

     

    Back

    Two peacocks with an image of the Octagon of the Tooth Relic in Kandy in the background.

     

    Rs. 2000 Currency Note

     

    Front

    An image of Sigiriya Rock in the centre and a Sesatha on the right.

     

     Back

    A damsel holding a flower (A fresco of Sigiriya).

     

    11th Note Series

     

    Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers – 2011

     

    This series consists of following denominations: Rs. 20,50,100,500,1000 and 5000.

     

    Rs. 20 Currency Note

     

    Front

    Port of Colombo (a recent and an early view).
    The bird - "Sri Lanka Serendib Scops Owl"; The butterfly - "The Baronet".

     

    Back

    "Ves Netuma" dancer (Kandyan dance form) and "Geta bera" drummer.
    Background - "Punkalasa" (pot of plenty) guard stone, " Liya-vela" (single floral design) and map of Sri Lanka.

     

    Rs. 50 Currency Note

     

    Front

    New bridge at Manampitiya alongside the old bridge and an ancient
    railway arch bridge in the background. The bird - "Sri Lanka Dull –Blue Flycatcher"; The butterfly - "The Blue Oakleaf".

     

    Back

    "Vadiga Patuna" dancer (Low Country dance form) and "Yak bera" drummer.
    Background - "Punkalasa" guard stone, "Liya-vela" (single floral design)and map of Sri Lanka.

     

    Rs. 100 Currency Note

     

    Front

    Norochcholai Coal Power Plant Project and Laxapana waterfall in the background.
    The bird - "Sri Lanka Orange Billed Babbler";
    The butterfly - "The Autumn Leaf".

     

    Back

    "Bharatanatyam" dancer (classical South Indian dance form) and "Mridangam " drummer.
    Background - "Naga" guard stone, "Dvithva liya-vela" (double floral design) and map of Sri Lanka.

     

    Rs. 500 Currency Note

     

    Front

    The World Trade Centre and Bank of Ceylon Headquarters (city of Colombo). An ancient Buddhist temple "Lankatilaka Viharaya" at Kandy in the background.
    The bird - " Sri Lanka Emerald Collared Parakeet (Layard’s Parakeet)"; The butterfly - "The Ceylon Indigo Royal".

     

    Back

    "Thelme Netuma" dancer ("Devol Maduwa" ritual - Low Country dance form) and "Yak bera" drummer. Background - "Padmanidhi" guard stone, "Dvithva liya-vela" and map of Sri Lanka.

     

    Rs. 1000 Currency Note

     

    Front

    New Ramboda Tunnel and the rock wall/hood at the same location in the background.
    The bird - "Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot";
    The butterfly -"The White Four Ring".

     

    Back

    "Malpadaya Netuma" dancer (Sabaragamuwa dance form) and "Davul bera" drummer.
    Background - Guard stone with guardian deities, "Dvithva liya-vela" and map of Sri Lanka.

     

    Rs. 5000 Currency Note

     

    Front

    Weheragala Dam and Canyon Dam in the background. The bird - "Sri Lanka Yellow Eared Bulbul"; The butterfly - "The Lemon Migrant".

     

    Back

    "Nagaraksha" and "Guruluraksha" dancers (Low Country mask dance) Background- "Rathnaprasada" guard stone, "Kalpavruksa" (Wishgranting Tree) floral design and map of Sri Lanka.

     

    Commemorative Notes

     

    Since its inception, the CBSL has issued 3 commemorative notes to mark important events and persons.

     

    50th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka– 1998

     

    A polymer currency note in the denomination of Rs. 200 has been issued to mark this event.

     

    Front

    The front of the note depicts the theme - progress during 50 years of independence. Independence square-Colombo, Free education and health services, Gal Oya development project, Electricity development, Telecommunications development, Investment promotion zone, Industrial development, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Mahaweli development project, New Parliament complex of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, Development of the Colombo city and the port, Unity and peace.

     

    Back

    Sri Dalada Maligawa with Octagon, Advent of Prince Vijaya, Arrival of Arahant Mahinda and introduction of Buddism during the reign of King Dewanampiyatissa, Statue of King Parakramabahu I and his construction Sea of Parakrama, Sigiriya rock and frescoes, Invasion of Sri Lanka by the Portuguese and the Dutch and conquest by the British.

     

    Ushering of Peace and Prosperity to Sri Lanka - 2009

     

    Rs. 1000 Currency Note

     

    Front

    With the theme of one country and one nation in harmony, progressing towards prosperity under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
    Image of His Excellency the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. A map of
    Sri Lanka with the rising sun in the background and a 'Punkalasa' with ears of paddy at center left depicts territorial integrity and prosperity respectively, that are results of national harmony and peace.

     

    back

    With the theme of the valiant contribution made by the nation's victorious sons and daughters of the security forces and the police.
    The design at the center depicts the hoisting of the national flag by members of the security forces. Images of the Ma-vil Aru annicut and Thoppigala rock (Baron's Cap) that were turning points of humanitarian operation of the security forces appear in the background.

     

    Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka from 15th to 17th November 2013.

     

    Rs. 500 Currency Note

     

    Front

    CHOGM 2013 Sri Lanka logo in purple colour at bottom left.
    The World Trade Centre and Bank of Ceylon Headquarters (in the city of Colombo).
    An ancient Buddhist temple "Lankatilake Viharaya" at Kandy in the background.
    The bird - " Sri Lanka Emerald Collard Parakeet (Layard's Parakeet)"


    Back

    "Thelme Netuma" dancer ("Devol Maduwa" ritual – Low Country
    Dance form) and a "Yak bera" drummer. "Padmanidi" guard stone.
    "Dvithva liya-vela" (double floral design) and a map of Sri Lanka in the background.

     

    Commemorative Coins

     

    The CBSL has issued 57 commemorative coins to mark important events and persons since 1957. From those coins, some circulation standard commemorative coins that are currently seen in circulation are shown below.

     

    Accelarated Mahaweli Development Scheme - 1981

     

    Rs. 2 Coin – Copper/Nickel

    Obverse - The Mahaweli Development Scheme

     

    3rd Anniversary of Induction of Executive Presidency of Ranasinghe Premadasa – 1992

     

    Re. 1 Coin – Copper/Nickel

    Obverse - An effigy of the President Ranasinghe Premadasa within a circle of beads. Reverse - President’s flag and two lions in the National Flag facing each other.

     

    50th Anniversary of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) – 1995

     

    Rs. 2 Coin – Copper/Nickel

    Obverse - Official 50th Anniversary logo of the UNICEF.

     

    50th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka - 1998

     

    Rs. 10 Coin - Bimetal Coin (Inner disc – Nickel/Brass, Outer ring Copper/Nickel)

    Obverse - Dalada Maligawa in Kandy with the Octagon.

     

    Winning of Cricket World Cup - 1996

     

    Rs. 5 Coin – Nickel/Brass

    Obverse - Two cricketers – a batsman and a wicket-keeper
    Reverse - 1996 Cricket World Cup.

     

    2550th Anniversary of Buddha
    (2550 Buddha Jayanthi) - 2006

     

    Rs. 5 Coin - Brass plated steel

    Obverse - Sri Pada Mountain as the central design with Dharma Chakra at the top.

    2007 Cricket World Cup Sri Lanka Runners-up – 2007

     

    Rs. 5 Coin – Brass plated steel

    Obverse - An artistic impression of a bowler.
    Reverse - The heraldic lion in the National Flag.

     

    60th Anniversary of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) – 2011

     

    Rs. 2 Coin – Nickel plated steel

    Obverse - 60th Anniversary logo of SLAF, an artist’s impression of a chipmunk aircraft appears below the logo and another three aircraft; Mig 27, C 130 and MI 24.

     

    2600th Anniversary of Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi – 2011

     

    Rs. 10 Coin – Nickel plated steel

    Obverse - A 'Dharma Chakra' (wheel of Doctrine) with 24 lattice symbolizing 'Suwisi Wivarana'.

     

    100 Years Scouting in Sri Lanka – 2012

     

    Rs. 2 Coin – Nickel plated steel

    Obverse - The world scout badge encircled by the lotus emblem which signifies peace and prosperity.

     

  • Cinnamon

    When it comes to spices, cinnamon is without doubt the most spoken among the rest. Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum, and used in both sweet and savoury foods. "True Cinnamon" alias "Ceylon Cinnamon" is the name used to call the world' finest cinnamon which is produced nowhere in the world other than in Sri Lanka. In the world are several varieties of cinnamon. Nevertheless, it is True Cinnamon that is world-renowned. How strong the affinity between cinnamon and Sri Lanka is, is evidenced by its botanical name Cinnamomum Zeylanicum which is derived from the word Ceylon (Zeylan), former colonial name of Sri Lanka.

     

     

     

    Ceylon cinnamon has been very popular all over the world since ancient times. This remote antiquity spice was so highly prized among the olden nations that it was regarded as a gift suitable even for monarchs as well as Gods. Attraction to the True Cinnamon compelled the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British to arrive in Sri Lanka. History says that the King of Ceylon who ruled this country in the 6th Century was to supply 250,000 pounds of Cinnamon to Portuguese authorities in return of giving protection against enemy invasions.

     

    Annual production of cinnamon in the world amounts to 27,500 - 35,000 tons. Sri Lanka is proud to produce 80-90% of the total world supply. Thus, Sri Lanka remains as the main supplier of cinnamon to the entire world.

     

    In Sri Lanka, cinnamon has originated from the Central Hills where several species of cinnamon occur periodically in places such as Kandy, Matale, Haputale and the Sinharaja Forest range. Although cinnamon cultivation is presently concentrated along the coastal belt stretching from Kalutara to Matara, it has made its way inroads to the inland of Kalutara, Ambalangoda, Matara and Ratnapura. Production of cinnamon is quite informative. The stems must be processed immediately after harvesting it while the inner bark still remains wet. The cut stems are processed by scraping off the outer bark, then beating the branch evenly with a hammer to loosen the inner bark which is then pried off in long rolls. Then, woody portion is discarded, leaving meter-long Cinnamon strips that are curled into rolls on drying.

     

    True Cinnamon is a popular spice, once considered more precious than gold because of its delicate fragrance and a sweet pungent taste. Therefore, it is used as a flavoring agent in confectionary, pharmaceutical preparations, chewing gums, toothpaste, cinnamon tea, mouthwashes and mixing with several other Asian curries. Furthermore it is used in the preparation of chocolate in Mexico which is the main importer of True Cinnamon. Additionally, it is also used in the preparation of some kinds of desserts such as apple pie, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies, hot cocoa and liqueurs.

     

    Research has found amazing benefits of cinnamon which has medicinal value that is making even pharmaceutical companies take notice. Cinnamon has been reported to have remarkable pharmacological effects in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Insulin resistance. It has been clinically proven that Cinnamon has ability to boost memory, lower bad Cholesterol and also Cinnamon contains antiseptic properties, help circulation, relieves pain and cold, aids digestion and flu and battles heart disease.

     

  • Sri lanka cuisine

    Food is one of the most exciting aspects of Sri Lanka. While most dishes in Sri Lankan cuisine can trace their origins to India, Malaysia, the Arab world and the colonizers from Portugal, the Netherlands, Britain, a unique local twist can be experienced, which sets them apart.The local palate and the various fragrant spices growing in Sri Lanka contribute much towards this. Many Sri Lankans consume rice with a collection of curries, the main being a lentil curry. Other main dietary selections include string hoppers, hoppers, milk rice, roti or thosai, all accompanied by curries or chutneys. However, the ultimate street food found in every nook and corner of Sri Lanka is kottu, which is shredded roti, mixed with vegetables and a preference of meats, served with gravy. As an island, sea food too is a main staple in the country.

     


  • Stamps & Coins

    Coins are some of the oldest artifacts that reveal the history of our past. Numismatics covers the collection and study of coins, tokens and currency of all ages.

     

     

    Lanka has a very rich and documented numismatic history stretching back over 2300 years. The earliest known coins mentioned in the 3rd Century Chronicle Mahavamsa are Karshapana. These are small flat silver pieces about three grams in weight on which various marks have been punched. Most came from India in trade, but some may have been manufactured in Lanka.

     

    The first indigenous coins of Lanka issued during the early Anuradhapura period have the railed swastika which is found only on Lankan coins. The largest of these coins known as the Elephant and Swastika has multiple symbols. Smaller coins have the Bo tree, or a lion, or Gaja Lakshmi on the reverse and the railed swastika on the obverse.

     

    The Kahavanu which were issued in the 7th to 11th century are about 4.4 grams of typically 9-15 Karet gold and are also found as fractions Pala (Quarter) and Aka (Eighth) of a Kahavanu. Similar sized copper coins known as Massa issued from 9th to 13th centuries had the name of the king written in Nagri text.

     

    Coins were also issued by the colonial rulers, the Portuguese, Dutch and British for use in Lanka. During the British period from about 1840 to 1880, tokens were used in coffee and tea estates as payment for labour. The tokens were redeemable only at the company shop for goods creating a closed economy.

     

    The first rupees and cents coins are dated 1870 and have the head of Queen Victoria. Similar coins in copper and silver were issued with the heads of Edward VII, George V, George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. Coins with the Ceylon Armorial emblem were issued from 1963 to 1972, and the Sri Lanka Armorial Emblem since 1972. The Central Bank has also issued commemorative coins since 1957, some of which circulated, and can be found among the change you get.

     

    Lankan currency notes have a rich history of over 200 years. The oldest notes issued by the Dutch in 1785 were known as Kredit Brieven. The British issued Sterling currency from 1827 and many international banks operating Lanka issued currency as well. From 1885 there was rupee currency from the Ceylon Government, and since 1951 from the Central Bank.

     

    There are a number of Coins and Currency Collections, like those in the Colombo and Kandy National Museums, the Dutch Period Museum, the Central Bank Economic History Museum, the Bank of Ceylon Museum which are open to public.

     

    The market value of a coin or currency depends strongly on its rarity and condition. Punch Mark coins about 2000 years old may sell for little more than their weight in silver. Most copper Massa coins which are over 800 years old and VOC duits which are over 200 years old may be obtained for around Rs 100 since they are found in very large numbers. There are, however, a few Lankan copper coins that are worth a lot more than their weight in gold.

     

    Crude replica of the VOC bar, Dutch and early British dump coins are sold by street hawkers in Galle Fort and other tourist spots. There also some replica, which need an expert knowledge to identify.

     

    Note that it is also illegal to export out of the island any genuine antique item including coins more than 100 years old. The Sri Lanka Customs have recently opened a museum with the best of these confiscated items including coins.Technically modern fakes are OK, but the Sri Lanka Customs Officers at Airport or Post Office will not probably identify them as such, and if discovered will give you as much problems as the genuine article until you can prove they are fake.

     

    The Sri Lanka Numismatic Society (SLNS) was founded in 1976 to serve the coin collectors in Lanka and counts many leading collectors of coins and currency as members..

     

  • Nightlife

    Nightlife is vibrant in Colombo with a wide selection of activities, such as dining out, shopping, gaming arcades, casinos and nightclubs to choose from. Festival seasons such as Christmas and Vesak offer incredible experiences 24/7. Reliable taxi services are available to travel across the city in safety and comfort.

  • Apparel

    It was in 543 BC that the Prince Vijaya with 700 of his followers, landed on the coppery shores of Thammennawa along the Western coast of Sri Lanka. Cast out to sea by his father, the Gujarati King Vijeyabahu, for his mischievous behavior, his ships landed to begin the Sinhala civilization. The Mahawansa or the “Great Chronicle” says that when he stepped ashore, he first saw the Yaksha princess Kuweni spinning soft threads of cotton on her spinning wheel and it is since then that the generations of Sri Lankans have passed along the tradition of the loom.

     

     

    ere to ever visit a handloom workshop, you will see meditative artists weaving on their handlooms. The artisans, mostly elderly ladies, coordinate the use of their eye, hands, feet and mind in perfection and the outcome is beautiful yards of colorful textile. The life of these cotton textiles begins with the dyeing of 100% cotton yarn into vibrant colors only limited by your imagination. After a 36-hour process of boiling, coloring, washing and drying, the colored yarn is ready for the weaving process. Their journey takes us next to the handloom workshops. First the dyed yarn is spun into bobbins that are then used to create the warp, which dictates the design of the length of the fabric. This warp is then transferred to the loom and woven into saris, sarongs, fabrics and other handloom textile products. This entire process can take up to 48 hours, depending on the design and more importantly;on a human angle it touches the hands and therefore the lives of many.

     

    In Sri Lanka, the handloom industry is an important cottage industry with thousands of rural women and men depending on it for a living. The industry provides its artisans a comfortable working environment within the vicinity of their own homes and also flexible hours to attend to their agricultural and home garden plots. Today, although the industry is not as vibrant as it used to be

     

    Sri Lankan weavers have succeeded in fashioning a distinctive identity of their own by converting the traditional woven patterns and color schemes into the beautiful modern textile designs. The industry also continues to provide a livelihood for a large number of households in the country particularly in the Northwestern, South, Central and Eastern Provinces of the country. You can also find high quality handloom products by several established companies in the local market and these beautiful and unique products make excellent memorabilia of the warm and beautiful island of Sri Lanka.

     


  • Freshwater Piscifauna

    Sri Lanka though a small island has a varied climate and topography and this has resulted in a rich biodiversity distributed within a wide range of ecosystems.This array of ecosystems is home to the ichthyofauna of Sri Lanka. These together with the freshwater habitats of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, tanks, paddy-fields, coastal and marine wetland ecosystems such as sea-grass beds, coral reefs, estuaries, lagoons, and associated mangrove swamps constitute the panorama of natural ecosystems in the country. Sri Lanka has biodiversity richness with a high degree of endemism including endemic genera. Freshwater fish diversity is one of the major components of this rich heritage.

     

    According to the distribution of rainfall, three major climatic zones are recognized in the island; the dry zone (annual rainfall < 1900mm), wet zone (annual rainfall > 2500mm), and the intermediate zone (annual rainfall 1900-2500mm). The rainfall shows seasonal fluctuations. Distribution of freshwater fi sh depends on those climatic zones.

     

    It has found that a total of 91 scientifically described species of fi sh occur in freshwater habitats in Sri Lanka, 50 species of which are endemic to the island. In addition to these, there are 16 species of saltwater dispersal and more than 30 species of exotics.

     

    Many of these species are riverine or marsh dwelling ones that occur mainly in the wet zone streams. Certain species such as Devario pathirana, Puntius bandula, Puntius asoka, Puntius srilankensis, are point endemics. Others such as Puntius martenstyni, Macrognathus pentophthalmos, Devario aequipinnatus, Labeo fi sheri, and Labeo lankae, have a very limited distribution.

     

    The wet-forest stream fishes in Sri Lanka exhibit a high morphological diversity and the fish assemblages are structured by ecological processes, especially inter-specific competition.

     

    The Conservation Issues and the Status of the Freshwater Fishes in Sri Lanka

    The growing human population in the island has contributed to the loss of biodiversity, mainly due to anthropogenic factors such as habitat degradation/modify cation, over-exploitation of species, spread of invasive alien species and pollution. Closed natural canopy forests of the island have been reduced to less than 23 %, being least extensive in the wet zone where human population pressure is highest. Large scale deforestation over the past two centuries together with the high human population pressure in this region has led to remain less than 750 km2 of highly fragmented rain-forest cover by today.  A recent analysis on the status of fauna and flora in Sri Lanka has revealed that 223 species of vertebrate fauna (33% of total species), and 675 species of angiosperm flora are threatened with extinction and it includes a higher proportion of the endemic taxa.

     

    According to the 2007 National Redlist of Threatened Fauna and Flora of Sri Lanka (IUCN and MOENR, 2007), 28 species (20 endemics) of freshwater fish in Sri Lanka are threatened with extinction. These include 10 species Critically Endangered (CR), 7 species Endangered (EN) and 11 species Vulnerable (VU).

     

    According to published sources, the decline of the native freshwater fish populations in Sri Lanka can be attributed to a number of factors such as deforestation, urbanization, river damming, gem mining, improper use of agrochemicals, siltation and pollution, over-exploitation for ornamental fish trade, use of destructive fishing methods like plant-derived poisons, and introduction of exotic species together with global climatic changes.

     

    As such, we can see that many endemic species of piscifauna of Sri Lanka are disappearing rapidly from the island due to many threats resulted by a number of human activities. Therefore, immediate action should necessarily to be taken towards the conservation of remaining species.

  • Business Opportunities

    Being a fast-growing economy after a dark era of thirty years with a bloody war, Sri Lanka is a country with many business opportunities. Are you interested in starting a business in Sri Lanka? If yes, follow the link below and learn how to start a new buisness in Sri Lanka.

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